Alsoug, a digital classifieds, and marketplace in Sudan, has announced the end of a $5 million campaign to develop a nationwide payments network enabling quick, convenient, and safe transactions for all Sudanese.
Fawry, Egypt’s first and largest digital payments startup, and the country’s first unicorn, with a current market valuation of more than $1.5 billion, co-led the investment round. This is Fawry’s first investment outside of Egypt, and it will help alsoug grow its payment infrastructure by utilizing its in-house technology and knowledge. Established Western venture capital funds are among the other investors in the round.
Alsoug, a mobile application that was launched in 2016 and has approximately two million downloads, allows Sudanese consumers and companies to purchase and sell any items or services they require. Real estate, automobiles, gadgets, and furniture, as well as services and job advertising, are all listed.
alsoug is a platform that allows buyers and sellers of products and services to communicate directly with one another.
The investment will help extend alsoug’s fintech presence by letting consumers to deposit, withdraw, and transfer cash as well as transact digitally, based on the company’s payment platform, Cashi.
As a result of the growth, alsoug will become the country’s largest digitally-driven network.
Along with its payments investment, the company plans to expand its marketplace by providing new services to customers and ensuring that the platform maintains its position as Sudan’s leading digital buying and selling platform.
“From our earliest beginnings, we have focused on enabling anybody in Sudan to purchase and sell whatever products and services they need, no matter who they are or where they reside,” stated Tarneem (Nina) Saeed, CEO of alsoug. However, ordinary Sudanese consumers and businesses continue to have restricted payment options. This funding allows us to grow our fintech services so that everyone in the country has financial independence and can transact in a fast, transparent, simple, and digital manner.
“We’re happy to be launching off our cooperation with alsoug, one of Sudan’s most promising possibilities and a Sudanese leader in tech innovation,” said Fawry CEO Eng. Ashraf Sabry. In our thirteen years of operation, this is our first investment outside of Egypt, and we’re convinced that our journey with alsoug and Cashi will be unique.
“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 internationally,” said Magdi Amin, Senior Advisor to Sudan’s Minister of Finance. Sudan now has a huge opportunity to make up for the lost time. We encourage foreign investment in promising Sudanese companies as part of our economic strategy to boost growth in the finance, technological, agriculture, mining, and infrastructure sectors.”
“alsoug has a crucially essential role to play in breaking down boundaries that are keeping portions of society back,” Saeed, who is one of Sudan’s only female tech CEOs, noted.
The funding round is the first international venture capital investment in a Sudanese technology company since the country was de-sanctioned after a 30-year period of isolation.