Sudan Just Got Its First YC-Backed Startup: Here’s What It’s All About
Bloom — not to be confused with the Robinhood-like app for teenagers in the US — is a fintech firm that offers a “high-yield” savings account, free FX, and adjacent digital banking services so customers can save in a stable currency, the dollar, and spend as they go in local currencies.
The company, which was founded by Ahmed Ismail, Youcef Oudjidane, Khalid Keenan, and Abdigani Diriye in late 2021, today, announced that it is part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 startup batch after receiving early admittance last July.
Bloom, which only launched last week from stealth, raised a pre-seed in September from Global Founders Capital, Goodwater Capital, and some football players, including Blaise Matuidi.
It also works with the Export Development Bank, a partner bank that handles deposits. And the best way to think about Bloom is that it is a technology, customer acquisition, user experience, and marketing partner to the bank.
The company said it offers fee-free accounts for users to save in dollars and buy and spend in Sudanese pounds. It also provides local and dollar cards and a feature where they can receive remittance free of charge from several countries globally, mainly from where most of the Sudanese diaspora resides
More than 15,000 people have signed up on Bloom’s waitlist put out a week ago.
The Sudanese- and Dubai-based startup plans to expand across the Anglo East African region like Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia, and ammunition coming from an imminent seed round will oversee that process.
“We are from the region. We understand the nuances in our markets and can navigate what may appear to be an ambiguous landscape. We are also comfortable — perhaps even thrive — working in markets that are volatile. We are underwiring the next decade of growth in Africa,” Diriye said of the investment when speaking to TechCrunch.