Joined Microsoft Bizspark, Founder Quit Job, Raised Funds. Abraham Cambridge pitched “solar powered money” to a panel of judges and was accepted into Microsoft Bizspark’s Cape Town business incubator. Abraham soon quit his prestigious solar engineering job to build the business full time. Sun Exchange then smashed it on Indiegogo, with over 100 enthusiastic backers in 30 nations contributing 1.5x the funding target.
World’s First Bitcoin To Solar Project. Sun Exchange pioneered the bitcoin solar crowd sale, successfully financing the Stellenbosch Waldorf School rooftop PV system in Cape Town, South Africa. From this, Sun Exchange placed first in SWIFT Innotribe’s African Startup of The Year Award.
VC Invested, CFO Joined. Adam Draper’s Boost VC invested $60,000 in Sun Exchange, and hosted Abraham and Larry Temlock (the newly-appointed CFO) for three months at their ‘making sci-fi a reality’ accelerator program in San Mateo, California. Sun Exchange refined the own-and-earn bitcoin solar product and business model. Representing African fintech innovation, Sun Exchange presented to a packed audience in Geneva, Switzerland.
First Solar Plant Went Online. The Stellenbosch Waldorf School plant went live. Customers in 21 countries began receiving a steady, monthly stream of South Africa Rand and bitcoin solar rental income. Sun Exchange’s success helped it place first in the 2016 Fintech Africa Awards and became The Best Bitcoin and Blockchain Business in Africa.
More Solar Projects Completed. Sun Exchange funded its second and third solar projects, with a funds coming from customers throughout the world. One project was a tire recycling factory; the other a wildlife refuge and veterinary hospital. The company continued to win acclaim, placing first in the prestigious Dubai SDO Global Blockchain Challenge, and winning the Mondato social impact in fintech award.
Techstars Program, Equity Raise. Sun Exchange secured equity investment of $1.6 million after completing the world’s premier tech business accelerator and mentorship program: Techstars.
A Successful Business: More Solar Projects Funded. Sun Exchange account holders grew to 3000, and the pipeline of viable projects expanded, with requests coming from around the world. Sun Exchange announced two new opportunities: a rural micro-grid in Lesotho, and an elephant sanctuary in South Africa. Over 15,000 solar cells were sold to power the Knysna Elephant Park, and construction commenced.
SUNEX Token Sale. To make distributed solar infrastructure ownership truly available to everyone, and to make solar cells a new tradable P2P asset class, Sun Exchange designed the SUNEX token. A SUNEX token represents solar cells and other assets in a compounding infrastructure pool, all recorded as digital tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. By invitation only, backers began to contribute to the launch of the SUNEX token in September.
First Solar Project in Middle East. Sun Exchange will begin its first project in Dubai, with partner Dubai Solar Schools. Sun Exchange will support Dubai’s twin goals of becoming the world’s first 100% blockchain city, and becoming 7% powered by clean energy before 2020. Sun Exchange will roll out new platform features, including more real-time project operating info and increased flexibility in account management.
Execution of Global Solar Projects & Cell Towers. Sun Exchange will deliver its pipeline of global solar projects, with SUNEX token holders democratically involved. Proposed projects include multi-MW of commercial and community solar plants in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. The 50 MW Dubai Solar Schools project will get particular focus, due to the Dubai government’s support for blockchain-enabled solar. Co-located infrastructure projects such as cell towers, water purification plants, cryptocurrency mines and others are integrated into the SUENX solar power infrastructure pool, increasing downstream value from diversified revenue sources.
Secondary Market For Solar Cells. Sun Exchange will arrange for listing of SUNEX tokens on major cryptocurrency exchanges, increasing access and liquidity for all.