Solar leasing platform Sun Exchange closes series A funding round led by ARPF

SOUTH AFRICA – Sun Exchange, a solar leasing platform, has announced a US$3 million investment by ARPF, a Mauritian private equity fund advised by London-based ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited.

This investment marks the close of a US$4 million Series-A funding round by Sun Exchange.  

Sun Exchange will use the funds to scale its solution and expand into new markets across Sub-Saharan Africa, enabling platform users to solar power schools, clinics, farms, cell towers, water plants, businesses and other organisations across the continent. 

It will bolster marketing activities and substantially grow the platform’s global user base and make significant software enhancements to extend its platform capabilities and features 

“Sun Exchange 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,” said William Barry, Managing Director, ARCH.  

“ARCH is thrilled to partner with Sun Exchange on this journey to expand the success the company has already seen in South Africa throughout ARPF’s target markets in sub-Saharan Africa.” 

Abe Cambridge, CEO & Founder, Sun Exchange said that there has never been a more critical time to accelerate the Sun Exchange mission of connecting the world to the sun, as socio-economic and energy systems across the world are on the brink of being reset and redefined. 

“This milestone unlocks the next phase of growth for Sun Exchange, which includes building our team, creating several new, sustainable, clean energy jobs, and providing our growing user base the opportunity to further diversify their solar cell portfolios across new regions and industries. With our shared passion for driving renewable energy proliferation and sustainability across Africa, ARCH is the perfect partner for Sun Exchange as we scale.” 

Sun Exchange has quickly become a recognised technology and solar finance innovation leader across Africa.

Last year, the company more than doubled the size of its community, now standing at more than 14,000 members from 162 countries.  

Additionally, Sun Exchange’s project portfolio nearly tripled in size, with the company now facilitating solar power for 24 schools, businesses and organisations across South Africa.

Sun Exchange has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Africa.   

Adam Draper, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Boost VC, and early Sun Exchange investor, stated, “Amidst the unprecedented health and financial hardships currently impacting the entire world, we’ve seen an undeniable slowdown in VC deals. This successful raise speaks volumes of the ingenuity and resilience of the Sun Exchange business model.” 

The Sun Exchange online platform enables almost anyone, anywhere in the world, to buy remotely-located solar cells that power schools, businesses and other organisations in South Africa and other sunny emerging markets.  

Solar cells can be purchased through online crowdsales for as little as US$5.00 per cell and the owner then earns a rental income stream from the clean electricity the cells generate. In turn, the off-taker organisations gain access to affordable and reliable solar power, reducing electricity costs and carbon emissions.  

ARCH ARPF aims to create long-term value for stakeholders while addressing the African market’s growing demand for bankable, de-risked, affordable electricity generation, whilst aiming to adhere to the highest ethical and environmental standards.  

ARPF’s investment team has collectively spent decades originating and managing private sector power investments on the continent, including over US$1 billion in closed utility-scale and off-grid sector investments. 

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