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The Sun Exchange, a SA blockchain-based solar panel micro-leasing marketplace, has raised over R4.2-million (about $300 000) from 288 investors through its equity crowdfunding campaign on Uprise.Africa.
The campaign, which the startup launched in September, concluded on 30 November, after the startup announced in October that it had extended the campaign by one month (see this story).
The extension allowed the startup to raise an additional R800 000 from 72 further individuals.
The raise, however fell well short of the startup’s target of raising R7-million ($460 000) for a 5.22% stake in the company.
The Sun Exchange’s R4.2m raised on Uprise.Africa will help cover marketing efforts to grow the user base 10 times
Despite this, the startup said in a statement yesterday that it was “thrilled” about the R4.2-million it had raised.
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,” said the startup
The largest investments were made by a Norwegian and two South Africans, with a total of R835 000 invested between them, the startup said.
The Uprise.Africa campaign formed part of the startup’s seed funding round. To date, the startup said it had raised over $1-million which includes a $500 000 investment from the multi-million dollar hedge fund, Alphabit Fund, which was announced in October last year (see this story).
In September, the UK-born founder and CEO of Sun Exchange, Abraham Cambridge (pictured above) said the crowdfunding campaign is part of a $3-million seed funding round that the startup began last year.
The startup said 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 over 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.
It 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 programmes.
Lastly, it said the funding will help pay for a larger office in Cape Town to accommodate its expanding sales, business development and marketing teams.
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