A South African peer-to-peer solar leasing platform, Sun Exchange, announced it has secured a $3 million investment by ARPF, a Mauritian private equity fund advised by London-based ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited (ARCH).
This investment marks the close of a $4 million Series-A funding round by Sun Exchange.
Sun Exchange intends to use the funds to scale its solution and expand into new markets across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling platform users to solar power schools, clinics, farms, cell towers, water plants, businesses and other organisations across the continent.
Additionally, the company will bolster its marketing activities and substantially grow the platform’s global user base.
Other plans include making significant software enhancements to extend its platform capabilities and features.
“Sun Exchange is positioned to emerge as an enabling force in the imminent global energy and economic transformation, with a first-of-a-kind platform that harnesses the power of a united global community to unlock the potential of distributed solar power in emerging markets,” said William Barry, managing director, ARCH.
Barry continued: “ARCH is thrilled to partner with Sun Exchange on this journey to expand the success the company has already seen in South Africa throughout ARPF’s target markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”
CEO & founder of the platform, Abraham Cambridge, said: “There has never been a more critical time to accelerate the Sun Exchange mission of connecting the world to the sun, as socio-economic and energy systems across the world are on the brink of being reset and redefined.
“This milestone unlocks the next phase of growth for Sun Exchange, which includes building our team; creating several new, sustainable, clean energy jobs; and providing our growing global user base with the opportunity to further diversify their solar cell portfolios across new regions and industries. With our shared passion for driving renewable energy proliferation and sustainability across Africa, ARCH is the perfect partner for Sun Exchange as we scale.”
Adam Draper, co-founder and managing director, Boost VC, an early Sun Exchange investor, stated, “Amidst the unprecedented health and financial hardships currently impacting the entire world, we’ve seen an undeniable slowdown in VC deals. This successful raise speaks volumes of the ingenuity and resilience of the Sun Exchange business model.”
Solar leasing platform tops innovative financing
The solar leasing platform maintains that it has quickly become a recognised technology and solar finance innovation leader across Africa. The company claims to have more than doubled the size of its community, in 2019, now standing at more than 17,000 members from 162 countries.
Additionally, the Sun Exchange project portfolio nearly tripled in size, with the company now facilitating solar power for 31 schools, businesses and organisations across South Africa.
The solar leasing online platform enables almost anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy remotely-located solar cells that power schools, businesses and other organisations in South Africa and other sunny emerging markets.
Solar cells can be purchased through online crowdsales for as little as $5 per cell and the owner then earns a rental income stream from the clean electricity the cells generate.
In turn, the organisation consuming the electricity gains access to affordable and reliable solar power, reducing electricity costs and carbon emissions.