South African startup raises $3M for crowd-funding solar project finance with a crypto bitcoin twist


South African startup Sun Exchange has raised $3 million from billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital via its stake in British-based private-equity firm ARCH Emerging Markets Partners, and a total of $4 million since its founding, according to Reuters.

The company crowdfunds commercial and industrial solar projects, claiming to sell the project by the solar cell while “closing the C&I funding gap.”

Here are the steps involved in the Sun Exchange finance model, according to the startup’s website.

  1. Projects undergoing economic and social evaluation are listed as “coming soon” on its solar projects
  2. Once a solar project is accepted, a crowd sale of the PV “cells” powers the project in a buy-to-lease solar marketplace.
  3. “Once all cells sell out,” the construction partner “installs the solar cells and the rest of the solar equipment.” The lease starts when the project goes live.
  4. The business pays to consume the electricity produced by the solar panels. The cell owners receive this as lease rental payments minus insurance and servicing fees on a monthly basis, paid in local currency or bitcoin.

CEO Abraham Cambridge can be found on video saying that the Sun Exchange marketplace is “an entirely new economic paradigm — silicon-based clean energy systems with positive feedback loops to create economies of abundance.” He adds that the company “streams monetized sunshine around the world …. in bitcoin.”

The CEO notes in a video that the company is “converting photons to electrons to crypto in a constant stream” that is “spread around the world from African sunshine.”

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