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Alsoug raises $5m in first foreign tech investment since lifting of sanctions

Staff writer
Oct. 12, 2021, 11:20 a.m.
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Word count: 436

Egypt-based Fawry and wider consortium of Western venture capital firms have invested $5m in alsoug, the largest digital classifieds and marketplace in Sudan.

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Egypt-based Fawry and wider consortium of Western venture capital firms have invested $5m in alsoug, the largest digital classifieds and marketplace in Sudan.

Fawry CEO Eng. Ashraf Sabry, said: “We’re delighted to be kicking off our partnership with alsoug, one of Sudan’s most exciting prospects and a Sudanese leader in tech innovation. This is our first investment outside of Egypt in our thirteen years of operation, and we’re confident that our story with alsoug and Cashi will be a special one.” 

“Fawry’s investment in alsoug delivers on our plans to venture into underserved international markets by leveraging our technology and teaming up with strong local players. This investment will allow us to strategically expand our footprint into Africa and transfer the experience we’ve gained in the dynamic Egyptian market to neighboring Sudan, an economy with major potential across several sectors and with a significant pool of entrepreneurial talent. Meanwhile, Fawry’s strategic partnership with alsoug leaves it ideally placed to help guide the platform’s rollout of a countrywide payments system, a feat which Fawry has already managed through a scalable, robust, and best-in-class technology platform.”

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.

Magdi Amin, Senior Advisor to Sudan’s Minister of Finance, said: “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. We welcome foreign investment into promising Sudanese businesses, a key part of our economic plan to drive growth in the financial, technology, agriculture, mining, and infrastructure sectors.”

Founded in 2016, alsoug lets Sudanese consumers and businesses buy and sell any goods and services they need with listings including real estate, cars, electronics, and furniture, as well as services and job postings.

The investment will expand alsoug’s presence in fintech, building on the company’s payment platform, Cashi, by creating a network enabling people to deposit, withdraw and transfer cash and transact digitally.

Tarneem (Nina) Saeed, CEO of alsoug, said: “This investment enables us to expand our services in fintech so that everyone in the country has the financial freedom they deserve and are able to transact in a fast, transparent, simple, and digital way.”

“Fintech has been one of the fastest growing industries across Africa in the past decade because of its huge user base. With this fundraising, we expect Sudan to catch-up with the rest of the continent,” he said.

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