TechInAfrica — SA blockchain-based solar panel micro-leasing marketplace, The Sun Exchange, has netted more than R4.2 million (approximately $300,000) from 288 investors through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Uprise.Africa.
Launched last September, the campaign closed on 30 November, after the startup announced in October that it had extended the campaign by one month.
The extension enabled the startup to raise an additional R800,000 from 72 individuals.
However, the raise fell short of the startup’s target of raising R7 million ($460,000) for a 5.22% stake in the company. But the startup said in a statement yesterday that it was “thrilled” about the R4.2-million it had secured.
The Sun Exchange said investments were made by individuals from the UK, Nigeria, Germany, many parts of Europe, Kenya, Australia, and Brazil.
“Unsurprisingly, South Africans showed the most support during the campaign, by investing over R2.5-million, 59% of the total raised, and by representing 70% of all investors,” the startup rep said.
The largest investments were made by a Norwegian and two South Africans, with a total of R835,000 invested between them, the startup added.
The Uprise.Africa campaign shaped part of the startup’s seed funding round. The startup mentioned that it had raised over $1-million so far. This includes a $500,000 investment from the multi-million dollar hedge fund, Alphabit Fund, which was announced in October 2018.
In September, Abraham Cambridge, founder and CEO of Sun Exchange said the crowdfunding campaign is part of a $3-million seed funding round that the startup began in 2018.
The startup stated at the time that the funds raised through the Uprise.Africa campaign will help cover marketing efforts to grow the Sun Exchange user base 10 times for the next two years and to add new markets in Africa in the short term, and Eastern Europe, South America, and Central Asia in the medium term.
The startup also wants to use the funding to expand its technology team and turn its platform into an interactive and gamified solar cell ownership dashboard with rewards and referral programs.
Ultimately, the company said the funding will help pay for a bigger office in Cape Town to accommodate its expanding sales, business development, and marketing teams.