SA solar leasing marketplace Sun Exchange raises $1m via ICO

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South African solar leasing marketplace Sun Exchange has raised US$1 million from sales of its SUNEX digital rewards token, some way short of its original target of US$5.4 million.

Sun Exchange is a buy-to-lease solar marketplace that leverages cryptocurrency to allow users across the world to buy into solar projects and receive income from the power generated by the projects.

The startup has built a global community of over 14,000 members across 130 countries, and introduced SUNEX, its own digital rewards token, in April of last year with the goal of raising US$5.4 million.

The initial coin offering (ICO) has now come to an end, with Sun Exchange ultimately allocating 28,485,478 SUNEX tokens, the equivalent of US$1,068,205. The startup thanked everyone who had participated in the sale, and said the failure to meet the original target was related to “increasingly challenging ICO market conditions.”

It did, however, say it had gained great exposure as a result of the ICO and built its user base further. Sun Exchange will now continue to raise funding via more traditional means, having last secured equity investment in October. It will also leverage partnerships such as that it has with Powerhive in Kenya to pre-finance solar projects, as it is unable to do so through token sale proceeds as it had originally hoped.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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