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Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Fawry makes its first investment outside Egypt

Fawry has finalized an unspecified investment in Sudan’s largest online classifieds platform and marketplace, acquiring an undisclosed strategic minority stake in Alsoug.com / Cashi’s holding company. The transaction marks Fawry’s first venture outside of Egypt, according to a statement (pdf). The investment is part of a USD 5 mn funding round, which Fawry co-led alongside a consortium of undisclosed Western venture capital firms.

It’s actually the first venture capital round raised by a company in Sudan since international sanctions were lifted in 2020. The investment will go towards building out Alsoug’s recently launched fintech platform Cashi and develop its payments infrastructure. Fawry CEO Ashraf Sabry said that the company sees Sudan as an economy with “major potential across several sectors and with a significant pool of entrepreneurial talent.”

Founded in 2016, Alsoug.com is an online classifieds marketplace with nearly 2 mn downloads and includes listings of real estate, cars, electronics, furniture, in addition to services and job postings. Alsoug launched payment service provider Cashi in 2020 as a PayPay-like service provider. Cashi facilitates payment of “utility bills, airtime top-up, government education services,” as well as advertising on alsoug. Earlier this week, alsoug.com was selected as one of eight startups to participate in the Last Mile Money Accelerator, a program managed by IDEO and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

EGX-listed Fawry is Egypt’s first and largest digital payments company with a market cap of c. USD 1.7 bn.

IN OTHER FINTECH NEWS- US-based Volante Technologies and MDSL will provide payment infrastructure upgrade to an unnamed Egyptian bank: Cloud payments and financial messaging company Volante Technologies and banking solutions company Calero-MDSL have signed a contract with an unnamed “major Egyptian bank” to overhaul the institution’s current payments infrastructure, according to a press release. Volante will be laying down the groundwork for the bank’s new payments solutions, while MDSL will help manage transition and offer local support services. Neither the Egyptian bank nor the specific payments processing product in question were named in the group’s release.

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