South Africa’s Sun Exchange – a global solar micro-leasing marketplace – has raised 28,485,478 SUNEX tokens through an initial coin offering (ICO), giving it additional funding of about R13.7 million ($1.1 million).
The SUNEX Network Token was available for purchase through a public token sale event which run through until December 31, 2018.
The most important objective of the token sale has always been growing our user base, said the company in its blog.
“We’re happy to report that through the sale, we have effectively doubled our user base and the Sun Exchange platform now boasts members from more than 130 countries around the world,” Sun Exchange said.
“Through the SUNEX token rewards program, those users experience on the platform and Sun Exchange portfolio will be optimized to deliver maximum value.”
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.
Through the token sale, Sun Exchange said it has also gained massive exposure across the global cryptocurrency and blockchain industries.
“We spent the last year presenting on stages in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Malta, London, Singapore and beyond, introducing audiences around the world to Sun Exchange and how blockchain-based finance can drive solar power proliferation.”
The company added that given that it didn’t hit the SUNEX token sale soft cap, there are also some more challenging implications it must consider, along with its plans to address those challenges.
Last October, Sun Exchange secured a $500,000 (R7.3 million) seed investment from Alphabit, a multi-million-dollar hedge fund.
The investment highlights Alphabit’s support of Sun Exchange’s vision of creating a thriving, inclusive and decentralized, global solar-powered economy.
“We’re continuing to raise capital by seeking external equity investments to allow us to continue building out the Sun Exchange business,” said the company.
“For now, unfortunately, we are unable to create the Solar Project Relocation Fund. However, we believe staking is an important functionality for SUNEX tokens and our team is hard at work designing a new, alternative solution to enable a staking mechanism that we hope to get live in the same timeframe as the SPRF would have, by September 2019. Watch this space for more details on this in the near future.”
Last July, the Sun Exchange announced a partnership with Leonardo DiCaprio-backed Powerhive, aiming to leverage the Sun Exchange platform to deliver electricity for up to 175,000 people in Kenya currently living without power.
“Although we are unable to pre-finance solar projects through token sale proceeds as we had originally hoped, our partnership with Powerhive remains,” said Sun Exchange.
“We look forward to leveraging that partnership to host Powerhive mini-grids on the Sun Exchange platform and bring clean, affordable energy to rural communities in Kenya.”
In May, the United Nations Development Program announced that it has partnered with Sun Exchange to pilot blockchain-based finance for solar in Moldova.
The Sun Exchange has facilitated funding for six fully operational solar projects in South Africa through our solar micro-leasing platform. The projects power organizations such as schools, small businesses, wildlife protection parks, and nonprofits.