North AfricaSudan

Bloom becomes the First Y Combinator Startup in Sudan – Africa Facts Zone


Bloom becomes the first Sudanese business to appear on the American Y Combinator’s winter cohort of startups.

Ismail, a former Barclays investment bank associate from Sudan, and Oudjidane, an Algerian former managing partner at an American venture fund, started the firm.

Instead of investing in African digital banking chances, they opted to construct one and chose Sudan because of its familiar area and ability to “navigate what may look like an uncertain environment.”

Sudan has been portrayed for years as a country plagued by anti-authoritarian rallies, internet shutdowns, and military coups, creating the impression that the country is on the verge of collapse. As a result of customer demand, Ismail and Oudjidane are promoting a new story through bloom.

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Using Bloom to Outpace Inflation in Sudan

Sudan’s lengthy history as a crisis nation has cost the country dearly in many ways, particularly in the citizens  poor faith in the financial system itself. A Reuters investigation last year showed that “several of Sudan’s 37 banks are undercapitalised, lack adequate accounting standards and exhibit stresses from years of an artificially valued currency,” set back by years of global sanctions against the ousted Omar al-Bashir administration.

Bloom isn’t claiming to be a disruptor since it can’t have a huge impact in a short period of time.

When it comes to banking, Sudanese people believe that banks should provide a wide range of products and services, however this isn’t always true. The goal of bloom is to make it easier for Sudanese citizens to save in dollars and spend in their own currency. In a nation with a population of over 40 million, where inflation topped 350 percent last year, it seems like an important service. According to bloom, there are 15,000 persons on the waiting list.

With Y Combinator’s stamp of approval, Bloom and other prospects in Sudan may be more widely known.

It’s hoped that Bloom’s tale would pique the curiosity of investors in fintech while also breaking away from the traditional focus on Africa’s main four VC destinations on demo day (Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria). Thirteen of the 19 firms in this year’s YC cohort are based solely in the African nation of Nigeria.

Source Credit: quartz


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