South African P2P solar leasing startup Sun Exchange has concluded its crowdfunding campaign on the Uprise.Africa platform, banking ZAR4.5 million (US$312,000).
Launched in 2015, Sun Exchange has built a community of more than 8,000 members across approximately 140 countries and brought solar power to 13 South African schools, businesses and organisations, offsetting 1,500 tonnes of carbon per year.
Disrupt Africa reported in September the company had launched a ZAR7 million (US$460,000) Uprise.Africa equity crowdfunding campaign as it looks to complete its US$3 million seed funding round, of which it has raised around US$800,000 to date.
After an extension, the campaign has now concluded, taking the seed round to beyond the US$1 million mark with ZAR4.5 million (US$312,000) raised from 309 investors in return for just over five per cent of shares in the company.
This was still well short of its overall target, and comes after Sun Exchange also fell short of its targeted raise through an initial coin offering (ICO) at the end of last year. The startup said it was happy with the total secured, however.
“In what can only be described as a true global effort to support our mission, confirmed investments were made by individuals from the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Germany, many parts of Europe, Kenya, Australia and even Brazil,” Sun Exchange said in a statement.
“Unsurprisingly, South Africans showed the most support during the campaign, by investing over ZAR2.5 million, 59 per cent of the total raised, and by representing 70 per cent of all investors. The largest investments were made by a Norwegian and two South Africans, with a total of ZAR835,000 invested between them.”
Funds raised through the Uprise.Africa campaign will accelerate Sun Exchange towards its next stage of growth, helping it step up marketing efforts, scale to new markets in Africa, build out its technology team, and establish a larger, permanent office in Cape Town.