B2B News for Wednesday, October 13, 2021: Sudan Re-opened to Tech Investment, BNPL, More Fintech Expansion

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The post-pandemic re-opening of the global economy seems to have nothing to do with the movement of people. It also has little to do with addressing the movement of goods as the global supply chain’s inefficiencies are showing under the strain of demand. There is, though, a huge global fintech movement intent on allowing the privilege of consumer debt to circulate more freely. Skeptical? Take a look at these three stories from around the globe.

Sudan has been re-opened to tech investment. The first foreign investment in a Sudanese tech startup since sanctions were lifted has been made. alsoug, a digital classifieds marketplace in Sudan, has closed a $5 million US fundraiser to establish a national payments network in the Sudan.

alsoug, was founded in 2016 and has nearly two million downloads. The app enables buyers and sellers to directly interact with each other.

The investment will expand alsoug’s presence in fintech, building on the company’s payment platform, Cashi.

Sanctions were lifted on the country in 2020 after more than 20 years of being listed as a state that sponsors terrorism. Sudan is one of the largest countries in Africa with a population of 41 million and was one of the continent’s technology leaders before sanctions were imposed.

“From our earliest beginnings we have focused on enabling anyone in Sudan to buy and sell whatever products and services they need, no matter who they are or where they live,” said Tarneem (Nina) Saeed, CEO of alsoug. “But today, ordinary Sudanese consumers and businesses still have limited ways to make payments. 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.”

More information: https://img.alsoug.com/alsoug_frontend/public/en

Two former Uber execs have founded a company that seeks to democratize credit in Mexico. Nelo is a buy now pay later (BNPL) mobile app that enables Mexican consumers to make purchases without a credit card. Right now, only 10% of adults in Mexico have access to credit. The concept is tied to the app’s relationship with merchants who participate in the program like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify and Steve Madden.

BNPL is seen as an emerging trend elsewhere, but the company says it is even more relevant in Mexico, where it’s y typical for consumers to buy things like phone plans in installments. In 2020, Mexico was the fastest-growing e-commerce market worldwide. Nelo has just raised $20 million US in Series A funding.

More information: https://www.nelo.mx/

London-based 9fin, a provider of data, news and predictive analytics for debt capital markets, announced it has raised £8M GBP in Series A funding for its expansion into the US. The company is opening a New York office.

“Debt capital markets is the world’s largest asset class, but it operates using the worst quality data, information, and technology,” said Steven Hunter, Co-Founder and CEO of 9fin. “Many companies in this space aren’t large listed businesses, they’re privately owned, that means important information about them isn’t readily or easily available.”

Press release: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/9fin-raises-8m-series-a-to-expand-its-debt-capital-markets-intelligence-platform-to-the-us-301397058.html

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Kate Baggott

Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/