Sudanese fintech Bloom secures $6.5m in seed funding

Sudanese fintech Bloom secures $6.5m in seed funding
Founded in 2021, the company offers a high-yield savings account and digital banking services for users. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 July 2022

Sudanese fintech Bloom secures $6.5m in seed funding

Sudanese fintech Bloom secures $6.5m in seed funding

RIYADH: Sudan-based fintech startup Bloom raised $6.5 million in a seed funding round from digital payment giant Visa, venture capital firm Y-Combinator, and other investors.

These included the US-based venture capitals Global Founders Capital and Goodwater Capital and the UAE-based VentureSouq.

Founded in 2021, the company offers a high-yield savings account and digital banking services for users, according to Wamda.

The investment is set to establish a partnership between Visa and Bloom to increase Visa Card adoption in Sudan and East Africa.


Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund
Updated 20 sec ago

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

Egyptian VC firm Algebra Ventures finalizes first close of $100m fund

RIYADH: Egypt-based venture capital firm Algebra Ventures has finalized a $100 million first close of its second fund — exceeding the $90 million target.

The company, which is set to invest $15 million in startups by the end of the year, is expecting to make its final close by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The company’s second fund is backed by existing limited partnerships from the first fund including IFC, EBRD, and EAEF in addition to new investors like FMO, BII, MSMEDA, DGGF and regional family offices.

Founded in 2016, Algebra Ventures has backed a number of startups like Trella, Khazna, Mozare3, Shift EV, elmenus, Halan, and Yodawy.


Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise
Updated 12 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

Saudi Cabinet signs off agreement with UK over energy expertise

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet has approved a memorandum of understanding with the UK to share technical knowledge and expertise on energy.

The Cabinet is also discussing a draft MoU with its Finnish counterpart for further cooperation in the fields of information technology, communications, and digital economy.

Moreover, the Cabinet has transferred the licensing competence for the professions of industrial consultancy and mining consultancy from the Ministry of Commerce to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.


Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade
Updated 37 min ago

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

Metaverse to add $360bn to MENA’s GDP over the next decade

RIYADH: Metaverse is predicted to add $360 billion to the economy in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey over the next 10 years, an official for Meta, the parent company of Facebook, told Asharq Business.

The metaverse is an online world where users can play games, work, and study.

Globally, the metaverse is expected to add $3 trillion to the world’s economy over the next decade, according to Fares Akkad, regional director for Meta in MENA.

Speaking about Meta platforms, he said there are over 300 million users on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp.

Meta is investing more than $1 billion in programs that support creators on these platforms and help them succeed, Akkad said.

 


TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell
Updated 43 min 54 sec ago

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

TASI sees sixth session of gains: Closing bell

RIYADH: The Saudi main index closed on a positive note for the sixth trading session in a row as investors’ recession fears faded.

The Tadawul All Share Index ended 1.49 percent higher to reach 11,780; the parallel market Nomu edged 1.32 percent higher to 20,339.

Saudi oil giant Aramco ended with a 0.70 percent decline, while Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co. edged up 4.9 percent.

The Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s largest lender, fell 2.36 percent, while Saudi British Bank increased by 1.73 percent.

The Kingdom’s most valued bank Al Rajhi gained 1.81 percent, while Alinma Bank gained 1.05 percent.

Arabian Internet and Telecommunication Co., known as solutions by stc, gained 7.67 percent to lead the gainers, after it completed all necessary procedures to acquire a $158 million stake in Egypt's Giza Systems Co.

Gulf General Cooperative Insurance Co. declined 2.58 percent to lead the fallers, followed by Alamar Foods Co. which fell 1.45 percent.

Among the gainers, Arabian Pipes Co. increased 7.54 percent, while Jabal Omar Development Co. added 6.67 percent.


Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen
Updated 47 min 17 sec ago

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

Saudi Arabia explores opportunities in South Africa to become global supplier of hydrogen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is working to boost its mining sector by attracting investments, spreading digital and advanced technologies, and applying sustainable standards, said the Kingdom’s vice minister for mining affair at the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

Khalid Al-Mudaifer is heading a Saudi delegation in South Africa, where the Kingdom seeks to explore investment opportunities to become a global supplier of hydrogen and emerge as a hub for green mineral and highly competitive manufacturing.

The delegation, comprising Saudi investors, is visiting South African capital Pretoria to meet local investors, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The report said the Kingdom has many opportunities for integration with South Africa since it is one of the biggest economies in the continent.

One of the reasons for cooperation with South Africa is its strategic location, serving as a gateway to the entire African continent, as well as a link between the East and the West, Al-Mudaifer told Argaam.

South Africa is the hub for West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and the site for the export and trade of the Kingdom’s minerals. It also has great experience in mining, tourism, and other sectors.

Al-Mudaifer emphasized that Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Saudi Arabian Mining Co. have representative offices in South Africa, which presents numerous opportunities for Saudi companies there.

“We can cooperate with South Africa to serve the Kingdom’s mining sector,” the vice minister noted.

The Kingdom has 14 mining sites with quantities of copper and zinc that will be auctioned after Al-Khunayqiyah and Umm Al-Damar. It needs marketing campaigns worldwide to attract companies, he added.

There are several South African firms operating in the Kingdom, including ADL, the official said, adding that some agreements were signed at Indaba. In addition to signing pacts with South African firms, other deals will be signed to transfer business into the Kingdom during this visit.