Sun Exchange Wants to Monetize Africa’s Sunshine with Digital Tokens

The company recently announced it secured $1.6 million in seed financing from several strategic partners around the world.

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Solar panel on a red roof
Solar panel on a red roof (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

South African-based blockchain startup Sun Exchange has introduced SUNEX, a new digital network token built for the Sun Exchange platform.

The company recently announced it secured $1.6 million in seed financing from several strategic partners around the world including Network Society Ventures, Kalon Venture Partners, and three of the world’s leading technology accelerators, BoostVC, Techstars and Powerhouse.

The company was also recently recognized for the second consecutive year as Top Bitcoin & Blockchain Company in Africa by Fintech Africa.

The startup said in a statement on Tuesday that the SUNEX network token is utilised in the new Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF), designed to minimise risk and unlock financing for previously financially underserved solar projects.

Sun Exchange provides members a unique opportunity to earn income while helping to bring solar power to developing global regions.

Through its online platform, members can purchase solar photovoltaic (PV) cells for approximately $10.00 per cell and lease them to be installed in solar projects for businesses, hospitals, schools and other organisations in Southern Africa, the Middle East and other developing regions.

Solar cell owners receive lease rental payments, paid optionally in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, while offtakers enjoy the benefits of affordable clean energy.

The new SUNEX digital token and SPIF are the latest Sun Exchange innovations designed to maximise benefits for Sun Exchange members, while removing major obstacles for financing solar energy installations in developing regions.

The SUNEX digital token is an ERC20 standard token built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is designed to make solar asset ownership through Sun Exchange more affordable and rewarding.

“The new Sun Exchange SPIF creates a new layer of security and reliability as the company grows, stimulating investment in impactful solar projects,” said Larry Temlock, Co-­Founder and CFO, Sun Exchange.

“The SPIF is the world’s first crowd-­sourced default insurance fund for clean energy projects in emerging markets.”

To date, Sun Exchange has provided financing for four solar projects throughout South Africa, which are now fully operational.

The crowdsale for its fifth project, which will provide power for environmental NGO South South North, recently sold out in a record-­breaking two weeks.

“What is fantastic about the Sun Exchange model is that it benefits us as the recipient of power and it benefits the people buying the solar cells and it’s also a win for the environment,” said Carl Wesslink, Director, South South North.

“Their unprecedented approach to solar financing can achieve installation at scale on a commercially sustainable basis. This is the catalyst required for realising our (distributed) energy revolution.”

The SUNEX network token will be available to existing Sun Exchange members and the general public through a public token sale event, starting April 22nd, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. UCT.

The Sun Exchange SPIF will be established shortly after the close of the token sale.

Sun Exchange is a pioneer in the African energy market and is quickly gaining global recognition for its unique approach to enabling solar energy access.

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