Blockchain-based renewable energy startup SunExchange has raised $3 million in a recent funding round to expand its services. The funding highlights the increasing demand in South Africa and the region for solar power and alternative investment options.
SunExchange Raises $3M
The announcement from Reuters calculated that the South African-based blockchain company had increased the total amount it has raised in Series A funding rounds since 2019 to $4 million. The latest funding for $3 million came from billionaire Patrice Motsepe-backed African Rainbow Capital (ARC) via its stake in British-based private equity firm ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.
Founder and executive chairman of African Rainbow Minerals, Motsepe is among the wealthiest people in South Africa, focusing primarily on mining. He also founded ARC in 2016 to increase investments in future technologies on the continent and has funded several African-based startups.
According to the report now, the successful funding for SunExchange outlined the demand for solar power in the country. Additionally, the COVID-19 disrupted financing and investments in the region, but the blockchain-based company has raised the capital rapidly.
“SunExchange is positioned to emerge as an enabling force in the imminent global energy and economic transformation, with a first-of-a-kind platform that harnesses the power of a united global community to unlock the potential of distributed solar power in emerging markets.
ARCH is thrilled to partner with SunExchange on this journey to expand the success the company has already seen in South Africa throughout ARPF’s target markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.” – said William Barry, managing director of ARCH.
The Fundamentals Behind SunExchange
Founded in 2015, SunExchange allows customers to buy individual cells on solar projects and earn a rental income in cryptocurrency.
The initial prototype from the firm came in 2016, and it became South Africa’s first crowdsourced solar plant. A year later, the company launched the second version of the product and had already attracted over 1,500 registered members. The third prototype’s release came in 2017, and the 7th solar power plant was completed in late 2018.
Its expansion works jointly with South Africa’s plans for the introduction of more renewable energy products. The government seeks to add 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar capacity in 2022.