Alsoug, a digital marketplace in Sudan, has raised $5 million to build a national payments network enabling quick, easy and safe transactions for the citizens of Sudan.The fundraising round marks the first international venture capital investment into a technology business in Sudan since international sanctions were lifted on the country following a 30-year period of isolation.
Founded in 2016 with more than two million customers,Alsoug currently allows Sudanese consumers and businesses buy and sell any goods and services via its digital market place. Listings include real estate, cars, electronics, and furniture, as well as services and job postings. alsoug enables buyers and sellers of goods and services to directly interact with each other.
The new funding will enable the company to expand its presence in fintech, building on the company’s payment platform dubbed Cashi. The company plans to create a network that will allow people to deposit, withdraw and transfer cash and transact digitally. This will make alsoug the largest digitally driven network of its kind in the country.
Sudan is one of the largest countries in Africa with a population of 41 million. With sanctions having been lifted, alsoug wants to expand the technological literacy of the nation.
The funding round was co-led by Fawry, the largest digital payments company in Egypt and the country’s first unicorn, with a current market cap of more than $1.5 billion. The investment is the first for Fawry outside of Egypt and will see the business support alsoug to build its payments infrastructure, leveraging its in-house technology and experience. Other investors in the round include established Western venture capital funds.