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Published on September 29th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Fund It: Rent-to-Own Solar Light On SunFunder

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September 29th, 2013 by Zachary Shahan
Back in March, we featured solar crowdfunding platform SunFunder, which had just been awarded $25,000 by Facebook and the Cleantech Group as winners of the Cleantech Goes Social competition. From that post, here’s a refresher on what’s special about SunFunder:

  • SunFunder dashboard: Shows progress on metrics like dollars invested, number of projects, energy saved, and number of people helped. Users can see the impact their networks of friends are making, and ask others to invest with them.
  • Easy payments: Funders in any country can use Facebook payments to invest in projects like solar powered lights.
  •  Custom stories: A unique video is auto-generated about every funding activity which funders can share with their friends.
  • Matching and gifting: Funders can create a matching fund to incentivize their friends to invest. They can also send friends gift cards to introduce them to SunFunder.
  • Connect: Project pages are integrated with Facebook plugins to connect funders with each other and help them recruit friends. SunFunder users can also subscribe to receive updates from other investors, solar partners, entrepreneurs, and the ends users themselves.

So, SunFunder is now rolling. One project currently featured on the solar crowdfunding site is a rent-to-own solar light, “the second project in the SunFunder-smallsolutions partnership to bring solar powered lighting and phone charging to rural communities in Uganda.”

The target is a $20,000 loan. Head on over to SunFunder for more info and to invest some money!

Here are a few pics from the campaign page:

SKP with mobile


sunfunder solar light rent to own

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • Cindy Nawilis

    Thanks for sharing smallsolutions’ project! Their rent-to-own solar model is unique and innovative, and we’re excited to work with smallsolutions to make the Sun King Pro (a product that’s received great feedback) more affordable to more people.

    Cindy N.
    Community Engagement, SunFunder

    • Zachary Shahan

      Thank You. Good luck! :D

  • Alvaro Andrés P Varela

    Hi Zach:

    I want to invest in solar. The problem is I live in Colombia and startups like Mosaic don’t let foreigners like me invest and earn money. If I were rich I’d loan to SunFunder, but my resources are limited, so I’m looking for something where I can invest my money and earn an annually interest fee, not just to loan to receive my money back.

    What do you recommend?

    • Zachary Shahan

      Hmm, unfortunately, I’m not aware of anything. SunFunder is probably the best option I’ve seen for such situations. There was another one like Mosaic but supposed to be open internationally, but I’m not remembering the name at the moment and I don’t know if it ever actually got rolling. Think this kind of thing is quite complicated legally.

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