About Sun Exchange


At Sun Exchange, our mission is simple — to connect the world to the sun.

We believe sunshine is one of humanity’s most valuable, yet underutilised, resources. Not only can solar energy sustainably power hospitals, schools, community organisations, businesses and factories, it can also drive entire industries and economies. Solar dramatically reduces carbon emissions and air pollution, and it’s also quickly becoming the most affordable source of electricity. However, financial obstacles continue to hinder solar adoption, especially in emerging markets.

Enter Sun Exchange, the world’s first peer-to-peer solar leasing platform. Through Sun Exchange, anyone, anywhere in the world, can own solar energy-producing cells and build wealth by leasing those cells to power businesses and organisations in emerging markets, with installations and maintenance taken care of by one of Sun Exchange’s carefully selected installation partners. We leverage financial innovation and the power of the crowd to drive sustainable energy development and make the environmental, social and economic benefits of solar accessible and affordable for all.

Founder’s Story

Abe Cambridge has an academic background in climate change science. Through his studies, it became alarmingly clear that climate change presents the most imminent threat to humanity. His studies led him to the conclusion that the solution is to transition the world away from fossil fuels and towards solar power, the most deployable, affordable and accessible type of renewable energy.

After six years of building and running a solar panel installation company in the UK, Abe moved to South Africa in 2014 to work as a solar engineering consultant. He was immediately struck by the absence of solar panels on rooftops, despite Southern Africa being one of the sunniest regions on Earth. As he researched and learned more about the challenges of South Africa’s solar industry, he realised the lack of appropriate finance products for businesses and organisations to go solar was the most common roadblock to solar deployment.

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And crucially, unlike his home country of the UK, in a sunny country like South Africa, solar panels are so effective that subsidies are not required to provide a double digit return on investment. At the same time, Abe learned how to use cryptocurrency to send money back home to the UK and soon discovered that the technology made moving money around the world incredibly fast, easily and inexpensive.

It was this realisation that sparked the idea for Sun Exchange - universal peer-to-peer solar cell leasing. After nearly two years of developing Sun Exchange in his spare time, in November 2015, Abe quit his day job and set off on a mission to close the solar funding gap by connecting the world to the sun.

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Abe Cambridge has an academic background in climate change science. Through his studies, it became alarmingly clear that climate change presents the most imminent threat to humanity. His studies led him to the conclusion that the solution is to transition the world away from fossil fuels and towards solar power, the most deployable, affordable and accessible type of renewable energy.

After six years of building and running a solar panel installation company in the UK, Abe moved to South Africa in 2014 to work as a solar engineering consultant. He was immediately struck by the absence of solar panels on rooftops, despite Southern Africa being one of the sunniest regions on Earth. As he researched and learned more about the challenges of South Africa’s solar industry, he realised the lack of appropriate finance products for businesses and organisations to go solar was the most common roadblock to solar deployment.

Read Less

And crucially, unlike his home country of the UK, in a sunny country like South Africa, solar panels are so effective that subsidies are not required to provide a double digit return on investment. At the same time, Abe learned how to use cryptocurrency to send money back home to the UK and soon discovered that the technology made moving money around the world incredibly fast, easily and inexpensive.

It was this realisation that sparked the idea for Sun Exchange - universal peer-to-peer solar cell leasing. After nearly two years of developing Sun Exchange in his spare time, in November 2015, Abe quit his day job and set off on a mission to close the solar funding gap by connecting the world to the sun.

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Team


Saul Wainwright

Chief Executive Officer and Board Member

Lisa Lyhne

Chief Operating Officer

Richard Human

Chief Technology Officer

Aneme Dlamini

Customer Success Specialist

Banele Mthabela

Software Engineer

Barrett Jakeman

Head of Customer Support

Britt Nash

Comms Officer Business Development

Bruwer van Dyk

Solar Investment Analyst

Bulelwa Lahlekile

Financial Accountant

Caroline Skinner

Head of Communications

Dermott Murphy

Head of Solar Engineering

Glynn Morris

Business Development Executive

Jacques van Zyl

O&M Manager

Josh Pama

Business Development Executive

Liezl Hendricks

In House Legal & Compliance

Louis Serfontein

Head of Business Development

Matimba Mathebula

Business Development Solar Engineer

Mike Pearce

Business Development Executive

Mischa Blecher

Business Development Executive

Natasha Lamb

Support Assistant

Penny Van Zyl

Operations Coordinator

Rail da Ribeira

Senior Software Engineer

Retha Meyer

Finance Director

Rowan Jacklin

Business Development Executive

Rumbi Mhinga

Assistant Project Manager

Salome Bronkhorst

Public Relations

Sheila Cannell

O&M Engineer

Susan Coomber

Customer Support

Theseus Gandanzara

Financial Accountant

Board Members/Advisors


Abraham Cambridge

Board Member

Saul Wainwright

Board Member

Jeffrey Frank

Board Member

Zahid Ahmed Hassen

Board Member

William Barry

Board Member

Martin Webb

Board Member

Team


Milestones

2014 - Present

June 2015:

Sun Exchange is born with initial funding from a grassroots crowdfunding campaign.

March 2016:

First solar project crowdsale launched for Stellenbosch Waldorf School, becoming South Africa’s first crowd-sourced solar plant.

August 2017:

Winner of Global Blockchain Challenge. Graduated from Techstars Accelerator. Fourth solar project completed.

September 2018:

Seventh solar project completed. 6,000+ registered members on the Sun Exchange platform.

February 2019:

Named one of the world’s Most Innovative Companies by FastCompany.

June 2019:

1 MW solar cells sold; 7,000 members registered on the Sun Exchange platform.

June 2020:

Closed $4M Series A funding round with ARCH Emerging Markets Partners. 30th solar project completed.

March 2021:

$1.4 M Nhimbe Fresh crowdsale completion marks largest crowd-sourced project in Africa.

October 2022:

US based impact investment platform, Energea, completes first transaction through Sun Exchange.

November 2022:

Launched corporate buyer initiative, facilitating institutional use of Sun Exchange to accelerate corporate ESG objectives.

July 2023:

Saul Wainwright appointed Sun Exchange CEO. French IPP CVE fully funds $1M solar plant through Sun Exchange.

Today:

80+ solar projects complete. 100+ corporate funders & 40,000+ individual members across 180 countries. 10MW+ solar cells sold. 20GWh of clean electricity produced.