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South Africa’s Sun Exchange Secures $2.5m Funding to Continue Scaling its Services

Sun Exchange, the South African renewable energy startup, has now secured an additional $2.5 million in convertible note financing from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited’s Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF).

The funding follows the close of its $4 million Series A funding round in 2020, led by a $3 million investment from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited’s Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF).

The latest investment enables the firm to continue scaling its crowd-based solar leasing platform to facilitate solar power for small-to-medium organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

This is the segment most impacted by rising energy costs, unreliable grid infrastructure and costly backup diesel generators.

So far, the firm which was founded in 2015, has facilitated solar power for 45 businesses, schools, farms and other organisations in Southern Africa.

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In March, the firm successfully completed a $1.4 million crowdsale for a landmark 500 kW solar and 1 MWh battery storage project for agriculture leader, Nhimbe Fresh.

The project, which is its largest to date and the first outside of South Africa, is also the largest crowdsourced project in Africa to date.

Using the Sun Exchange platform, more than 1,700 people from 98 countries bought solar cells that will soon power the Nhimbe Fresh packhouse and cold store facilities. Construction of the solar plant is now underway.

William Barry, Managing Director, ARCH (Renewable Energy Strategy), had to say about ARCH’s latest investment in Sun Exchange: “Sun Exchange continues to demonstrate momentum as a fast-emerging leader eliminating obstacles to solar proliferation in Africa.

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“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.”

Sun Exchange CEO, Abe Cambridge, also shared his thoughts on the investment: “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.”

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