SA’s Sun Exchange secures $2.5m funding to boost scaling efforts

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South African startup Sun Exchange, a peer-to-peer solar leasing platform, has raised a further US$2.5 million in funding by way of a convertible note investment from an existing investor to help it scale more quickly.

Launched in 2015, Sun Exchange enables anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy remotely-located solar cells that power schools, businesses and other organisations.

The startup has since then built a community of thousands of members across hundreds of countries and brought solar power to dozens of South African schools, businesses and organisations. It began expanding internationally last year after closing a US$4 million Series A round, and has now taken on more capital.

Sun Exchange has secured US$2.5 million in convertible note financing from ARPF, a Mauritian private equity fund advised by London-based ARCH Emerging Markets Partners, which was lead investor in the startup’s Series A.

The latest investment enables Sun Exchange to continue scaling its success using its crowd-based solar leasing platform to facilitate solar power for small-to-medium organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa, the segment most impacted by rising energy costs, unreliable grid infrastructure and costly backup diesel generators.

“Addressing the climate emergency is the top priority on the world’s agenda, as evidenced by last week’s conversations at the UN General Assembly leading up to COP26. While policy action and diplomacy are critical at this juncture, the private sector and individuals have a crucial role to play. Powered by our global community, Sun Exchange closes the solar finance gap for organisations in Africa, addressing the challenge of our lifetime while supporting sustainable economic growth. We are delighted that ARCH has reaffirmed its belief in Sun Exchange and our mission through this investment,” said Abraham Cambridge, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Sun Exchange.

William Barry, managing director of ARCH, said Sun Exchange had continued to demonstrate momentum as a fast-emerging leader eliminating obstacles to solar proliferation in Africa. 

“ARCH is committed to working with our portfolio companies and supporting their growth, and we are proud to continue partnering with Sun Exchange on its journey to accelerate the global energy transition,” he said.

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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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