When the demo day for Y Combinator’s winter cohort of startups begins later this month, Bloom will put Sudan on the American accelerator’s famed map for the first time.
The barely year-old company was founded by Ahmed Ismail, a Sudanese former Barclays investment bank associate, and Youcef Oudjidane, an Algerian former managing partner at an American venture fund.
They had set out to invest in digital banking opportunities in Africa but decided to build one instead, according to Techcrunch, settling on Sudan because of its familiar territory and their ability to “navigate what may appear to be an ambiguous landscape.”
Sudan has been covered for years as a land of anti-authoritarian protests, internet shutdowns, and military coups, the popular impression being that it is perpetually on the brink of collapse. Ismail and Oudjidane are proposing a different narrative backed by consumer demand.