The Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF) – a Mauritius-based private equity fund advised by London-based ARCH Emerging Markets Partners – has agreed to invest $3 million in peer-to-peer (P2P) solar leasing specialist Sun Exchange.
“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 of ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.
The deal marks the close of a $4 million Series-A funding for Cape Town-based Sun Exchange. The company said it will use the funds to scale and improve its solar finance solutions, so users of its P2P platform can deploy more solar in schools, medical clinics, farms, communication towers, water facilities, private companies and other organizations across the African continent.
Adam Draper, co-founder and managing director of Boost VC, an early investor in Sun Exchange, said the ARPF investment underscores the viability and promise of the company’s business model. “Amidst the unprecedented health and financial hardships currently impacting the entire world, we’ve seen an undeniable slowdown in VC deals,” Draper noted.
In 2019, Sun Exchange expanded its user base to more than 17,000 members in 162 countries. It has grown steadily since late 2017, when it raised around $1.6 million in financing from a group of investors that included Network Society Ventures, Kalon Venture Partners, and Boost VC.
Its online platform allows people throughout the world to purchase remotely located PV cells that provide electricity to schools, companies and other organizations throughout Africa. Prospective investors can buy PV cells via online crowdsales for as little as $5 per cell, giving them income from the power they generate.