Global hedge fund, Alphabit provided a seed investment of $500,000 to The Sun Exchange, a Cape Town-based blockchain start-up that lets individuals buy into solar projects.
The Sun Exchange plans to raise $5.4 million through an initial coin offering which it will run until the end of December 2018. The company had also raised $1.6 million in 2017 from a local investment firm called Kalon Venture Partners and investors from the United States.
The Sun Exchange’s platform, which uses blockchain technology, lets individuals buy solar panels or individual cells and then lease them to end users, who pay monthly rentals to the investors.
According to the CEO of Alphabit, Liam Robertson, The Sun Exchange “has potential to disrupt two of today’s most dysfunctional centralised global systems- energy and finance…I’m convinced this will be one of the best equity investments Alphabit has made to date”.
The Sun Exchange Founder, Abraham Cambridge, said the fund from Alphabit, which was launched in 2017 and is registered in Dubai and the Cayman Islands, would “significantly accelerate our growth and progress towards our goal of solar powering the world through crypto-economy”.
The Sun Exchange announced a partnership with Leonardo Dicaprio-backed Powerhive, a company that hopes to use The Sun Exchange’s platform to supply electricity to 175,000 people in Kenya. In South Africa, the company is currently raising funds for its seventh project- the provision of solar power to Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg.