Sun Exchange is a South African firm that crowd-sources funds for solar panels, that are then leased to its customers. It has revealed plans to expand to other countries on the continent.
The company, backed by a group part-owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital Investments Ltd., raised $1.4 million for a solar panel and battery-storage project at a Zimbabwean fruit and berry producer. Sources say this would be the biggest crowd-funded project in Africa.
Its venture at Nhimbe Fresh sees individuals or other investors buying solar cells at $5 to $10 each on its platform and then leasing them back. Investors are repaid over 20 years in either Bitcoin or rand, with about 60% electing to be paid in the cryptocurrency. The Zimbabwean project, one of 50 by Sun Exchange, was funded through purchases by 1,905 individuals in 98 countries.