The Sun Exchange, a Cape Town-based blockchain start-up that lets individuals buy into solar projects, plans to raise additional growth capital via an initial coin offering (ICO) in April. The company raised $1.6m in 2017 from local section 12J investment firm Kalon Venture Partners and US investors, and plans to raise between $5.4m and $100m through its ICO. The alternative funding model, whereby blockchain-based companies raise money by selling digital tokens, has gained traction in recent months, according to a report by PwC. In 2017 $4.6bn was raised through ICOs globally, from just $200m in 2016, the financial services firm says. The Sun Exchange platform lets individuals buy solar panels or individual cells and then lease them to end users, who do not pay any upfront costs but rather pay monthly rentals. Investors can receive their rental income in rands or bitcoin, and electricity costs on the system escalate in line with inflation each year. The Sun Exchange has installed so...

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