Sudan’s alsoug Raises US$5m for National Payments Networkby Fintechnews Africa 12 October 2021
Sudan-based ecommerce platform alsoug has closed a US$5 million (SDG 2.2 billion) fundraise, according to an announcement.
The company is looking to use the funds to build a national payments network Cashi. Cashi will be enabled for deposits, withdrawals and transfers, as well as digital transactions.
Egyptian payments giant Fawry and a consortium of Western venture capital funds co-led the round, the statement said.
This is Fawry’s debut investment outside of Egypt, and the company will be providing support to alsoug to build its payments infrastructure through in-house technology and experience. Fawry founder and CEO Ashraf Sabry noted that the investment would help the Egyptian fintech company to “strategically expand our footprint into Africa.”
alsoug is Sudan’s first international VC bet since lifting of sanctions
This is the first foreign VC investment into a Sudanese tech company since international sanctions on the country were lifted last year, the statement added.
The US removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism last year. The designation had previously prevented Sudan from availing economic debt relief for nearly 30 years, including from the International Monetary Fund and other global institutions.
alsoug was founded in 2016 and functions as a digital classifieds and marketplace platform. It has had nearly two million downloads, the statement said. Listings on the platform include real estate, cars, electronics, and furniture, services and job postings as well.
“Following three decades of sanctions, international isolation and limited official development support, the economy has developed without full participation in the digital revolution that continues to transform industries globally. This is a significant opportunity for Sudan to make up for lost time,”
Magdi Amin, Senior Advisor to Sudan’s Minister of Finance, said.
Amin added that the financial and technology sectors were part of the country’s economic growth plan, alongside agriculture, mining, and infrastructure.
Featured image credit: edited from Unsplash