South Africa-based startup The Sun Exchange has raised $1.6 million from a number of investors in a seed funding round to prepare for its upcoming initial coin offering (ICO).
The Sun Exchange leverages bitcoin to enable users to purchase solar panels for solar projects mainly in Africa. By investing in the solar cells, individuals can get paid on a monthly basis through bitcoin or local currency.
The company received financial support from several investors including, Kalon Venture Partners, Network Society Ventures (New York City), and three of the world’s leading startup accelerators BoostVC (San Francisco Bay Area), Powerhouse (Oakland, California) and TechStars (Boulder, Colorado).
The startup aims to change access to solar energy while at the same time giving access to those who are interested in financing consumer-grade renewable energy.
While not divulging any more information regarding the funding due to a “press embargo on some of the details”, Abraham Cambridge, the CEO of The Sun Exchange is noted to have said,
“[Solar power] is the fastest growing source of energy, but billions of people don’t own their own roof or have the capital to get it. By breaking down solar panel ownership to a single cell we reduce the cost of going solar by two orders of magnitude and we’re utilizing empty roof space in some of the sunniest cities on the planet, such as Dubai and Johannesburg.”
Investment Framework by Kalon Venture Partners
In an interview with Ventureburn, Clive Butkow, CEO of Kalon Venture Partners did not want to reveal the amount Kalon had invested, said, “It is an equity stake, but unfortunately we have been asked not to pass it on to the press.”
According to Butkow, the deal had been finalised two months prior to the announcement but had only been concluded in the third week of October following an approval from the Reserve Bank that gave Kalon Venture Partners the go-ahead to invest in The Sun Exchange.
Kalon Venture Partners is a section 12J Venture Capital Company thus the need to seek an approval before investing in the blockchain startup that is domiciled in Delaware, US.
Although TechStars and BoostVC are no strangers to blockchain startup investments, the seed funding for The Sun Exchange seems to be a first for both Network Society Ventures and South Africa based Kalon Partner Ventures in the industry. The investment into The Sun Exchange from Kalon comes shortly after a shared investment into SnapnSave, a South Africa cash back coupon app with Smollan Group.