Kalon Venture Partners invests in The Sun Exchange to Catalyze Global Shift to Solar Power

 Kalon Venture Partners is proud to announce its 2nd investment in two months. The latest investment is The Sun Exchange, a peer-to-peer solar equipment leasing marketplace, domiciled in Delaware in the USA.

The Sun Exchange raised $1.6 million (approx. R21million) from several strategic partners to accelerate global access to solar power. In addition to Kalon Venture Partners other investors include; Network Society Ventures (New York City) and three of the world’s leading technology accelerators, BoostVC (San Francisco Bay Area), TechStars (Boulder, Colorado) and Powerhouse (Oakland, California). This will boost Sun Exchange’s capacity to meet the demand for its pipeline of commercial-scale solar power projects, located in the sunniest regions of the planet.

Sun Exchange is the first marketplace of its kind and leverages blockchain technology to allow individuals to purchase solar cells in solar projects which are mostly situated in emerging markets that are solar-rich but power-poor. This makes solar panel ownership accessible to retail and institutional investors, worldwide, while giving businesses and communities in emerging markets access to fully-funded solar power plants to reduce running costs and drive sustainable development. The investors in the solar cells will own cells on the solar panels through a smart contract on the block chain and return a minimum of 10% on an annual basis.

“We believe in partnering with good people that produce products and services that uplift the environment and society in which we all live. The Sun exchange does exactly this by acknowledging all stakeholders role in creating value – this is a great example of how tech enables the democratisation of the funding of a project by the people, for the people, to really add value to both our environment by reducing the carbon footprint and society by providing cost effective sustainable energy solutions”, believes Nicholas Liebmann, passionate philanthropist and director of Kalon.

Sun Exchange has been leading in the African energy market since 2014, and has expanded globally with a United States headquarters in California and a regional operating office in Dubai. Using its blockchain-based platform, Sun Exchange democratizes the green economy by giving retail customers around the world the chance to lease solar cells bought on their platform to medium to large solar installations in emerging markets. Solar panels are sold by the single solar cell, reducing the cost of solar plant ownership to below R120.

“Solar power is the most promising technology to achieve a zero-carbon future,” said serial solar energy entrepreneur, Abraham Cambridge, CEO of Sun Exchange. “It’s the fastest growing source of energy, but billions of people don’t own their own roof or have the capital to get it. By breaking down solar panel ownership to a single cell we reduce the cost of going solar by two orders of magnitude and we’re utilizing empty roof space in some of the sunniest cities on the planet, such as Dubai and Johannesburg.”

Sun Exchange leverages blockchain and Bitcoin to increase transparency and reduce the costs of the cross-border transactions, both problems that inhibit the majority of commercial solar projects from accessing traditional funding options. By presenting a simple and accessible opportunity for anyone to join the solar economy, Sun Exchange unlocks the potential for the construction of environmentally sound and socially responsible projects that would otherwise not see the light of day.

Clive Butkow, Kalon CEO commented “we are very excited about this investment not only for its potential financial return, for our shareholders, but also for the social impact the company will have from powering up communities, schools and other entities who have no access to electricity. This access to solar power will help stimulate entrepreneurship and reduce inequities in emerging markets.” Clive added, “an investor can invest with Bitcoin or fiat currency and get paid out monthly in Bitcoin or their fiat currency of choice”.

The conclusion of the investment into The Sun Exchange, comes soon after a co-investment with Smollan Group SA into South Africa’s No1 cash back Coupon app SnapnSave. Butkow said “with the quality of the deal flow and size of deals we are evaluating, we are planning to raise an additional R150 million capital over the next 1 to 2 years”. We will be opening our next capital raise in November 2017.