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SA blockchain startup The Sun Exchange raises $1.6m to help fund planned ICO

UPDATE (7 September 2018): Kalon Venture Partners’s investment in The Sun Exchange was subsequently denied by the SA Revenue Service (Sars). See note at the foot of this story.

SA blockchain startup The Sun Exchange, which leverages blockchain technology to allow individuals to purchase solar cells in solar projects, has raised $1.6-million from a number of strategic partners to enable it to fund a planned initial coin offering (ICO).

The news was revealed this afternoon in a press release to Ventureburn by SA Venture Capital Company, Kalon Venture Partners.

In addition to Kalon Venture Partners other investors include: Network Society Ventures (New York City) and three of the world’s leading technology accelerators, BoostVC (San Francisco Bay Area), TechStars (Boulder, Colorado) and Powerhouse (Oakland, California).

The Sun Exchange will use the funding to run a planned ICO on the etherium blockchain

The Sun Exchange founder Abraham Cambridge did not want to respond immediately saying only that “there is presently a press embargo on some of the details”.

Speaking to Ventureburn, Kalon Venture Partners CEO Clive Butkow said he did not want to reveal how much Kalon has itself invested in the deal. “It is an equity stake, but unfortunately we have been asked not to pass it on to the press,” he added.

Butkow said while the deal was finalised two months ago, it was only concluded earlier this week after the Reserve Bank granted Kalon Venture Partners approval to invest in The Sun Exchange.

Being a Section 12J Venture Capital Company, Kalon Venture Partners needed to seek approval from the Reserve Bank to invest in the blockchain company which is domiciled in Delaware in the US.

Butkow said the funding will be used to run the ICO which will be a token sale on the etherium blockchain. Those that are involved in the ICO will be able to own a solar cell, he added.

The investment is Kalon Venture Partner’s second in two months. The conclusion of Kalon’s investment into The Sun Exchange, comes soon after a co-investment with Smollan Group SA into SA cash back coupon app SnapnSave.

Read more: SA’s SnapnSave in R14m investment from Kalon Venture Partners, Smollan

*Correction (7 September 2018): Kalon Venture Partners’  head, Clive Butkow alerted Ventureburn that in the end the fund’s intended investment into The Sun Exchange did not materialise.

“We did invest the R1.6 million as a loan to be conveyed to equity as soon as we had Sars (SA Revenue Service — Ed) approval which unfortunately was declined,” he said.

He said the fund is still trying to find a way to invest in The Sun Exchange “due to some of the legislation not being clear”.

  • Tiaan Basson

    This is interesting..I’m just wondering about the regulation around this.

    The token technically serves as a security, which has a lot of legal implication. The US requires you to register with the SEC as a securities provider. From what I understand, the company is registered in the US, which may make things even more difficult. The idea is good, but not sure if it would be possible to jump through all of the red tape.

  • Harnessing the sun’s energy to distribute wealth. Wow, what a great idea.

  • Thomas Boersma

    For those who are interested in more details, The Sun Exchange founder, Abraham Cambridge and Network Society Ventures founder, David Orban, will both speak in a webinar on ICO’s in the energy field, on the 9th of November. More info on: https://www.blockchain2business.eu/webinar/

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