SA’s Sun Exchange partners with Decentral Energy to fund projects


Cape Town-based global solar micro-leasing marketplace Sun Exchange has signed an agreement with Decentral Energy, a boutique clean energy fund manager based in Johannesburg, to fund projects on the platform.

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, eventually raising US$1 million.

This new agreement gives Decentral Energy’s Grovest Energy, a Section 12J fund, first right of refusal to fund 51-100 per cent of selected Sun Exchange off-taker projects, and to fund any balances after Sun Exchange solar cell crowd sales are completed.

Decentral Energy has already provided equity and debt financing for the largest Sun Exchange project to date, the 473kW Cape Town-based Nioro Plastics, which came online in January of this year.

“We invest in small scale energy assets that demonstrate predictable, inflation-linked cash flows, because we believe that the energy future will be decentralised and built upon similar financing systems”, said Christian Bode, fund manager at Decentral Energy.

“For that reason, we support Sun Exchange in their vision to create a thriving, inclusive and decentralized solar-powered economy. We’re so confident about their business model that we’ve already bought into the Nioro Plastics project, and our goal is to fund 20 MWp of Sun Exchange projects by 2020.”

Abe Cambridge, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of Sun Exchange, said he was delighted with the partnership.

“Their confidence in our projects demonstrate that our solar cell leasing marketplace offers a reliable, lucrative and socially responsible source of income for anyone,” he said.

The agreement increases the ability of the Sun Exchange to host larger projects with less risk. For Sun Exchange users, this means that they can be part of large or small projects and there is greater reliability around the completion dates of crowd sales and subsequently quicker time scales to having their solar cells rented out.

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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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