South Africa-based Sun Exchange, a peer-to-peer solar leasing platform, has announced that it has secured a $3 million (~₹226.02 million) investment.
It secured the investment from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF), which marked the closing of the $4 million (~₹301.36 million) Series-A funding round.
The solar crowdfunding model enables people around the world (who can earn a rental income in cryptocurrency) to purchase solar cells (built into modules) and then lease them to power schools, businesses, and other organizations.
Solar cells are leased under a 20-year contract, with pricing that tracks changes in local energy prices and inflation. Energy consumers at the solar projects benefit from affordable electricity for no upfront cost and pay for the solar power consumed.
This funding is expected to unlock the next phase of development for Sun Exchange, and it will enable the company to expand its work in solar powering schools, medical clinics, cell towers, and other organizations across sub-Saharan Africa.
The company is also planning to boost its marketing activities and grow its membership base. The company is also thinking about extending the capabilities and features of its online platform and in the process of creating several new and sustainable clean energy jobs.
Speaking on this latest round of funding, Managing Director of ARCH, William Barry, said, “Sun Exchange is positioned to emerge as an enabling force in the imminent global energy and economic transformation. The company with a first-of-a-kind platform harnesses the power of a united community to unlock the potential of distributed solar power in emerging markets. We are thrilled to partner with Sun Exchange on this journey to expand the success the company has already seen in South Africa through ARPF’s target markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The company has nearly doubled the size of its community, which now stands at 17,000 members from 162 countries, and it is providing solar power to 31 schools, businesses, and organizations across South Africa.
Recently, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank Group, announced that it invested ₹200 million (~₹14.7 billion) in the Standard Bank of South Africa’s green bond placed on the London Stock Exchange. This is South Africa’s first offshore green bond issuance that will increase access to climate finance.
Earlier, CDC Group, a U.K. government-owned financial development institution, announced that it was planning to invest £2 billion (~₹184.41 billion) in African businesses over the next two years to double the size of its operations in the continent. The company announced a line of new partnership agreements amounting to about $400 million (~$28.38 billion) at the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit (AIS) in London on January 20, 2020.
Meanwhile, the total corporate funding in the solar sector, which includes venture capital funding, public market, and debt financing, plummeted by 31% at $1.9 billion (~₹143.4 billion) in Q1 2020 as compared $2.8 billion (~₹211.35 billion) raised in Q1 of 2019. The findings were revealed in Mercom Capital Group’s recently released Q1 2020 Solar Funding and M&A Report.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).