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YC-backed Bloom helps Sudanese consumers hedge against inflation by saving in US dollars

Inflation is front of mind in countries that hadn't given it much thought for decades. But in other parts of the world, diminishing purchasing power is an ongoing concern.

In Sudan, for example, people hedge against currency devaluation by parking their money in assets like real estate, livestock or physical US dollars. Bloom aims to deliver a more convenient alternative: app-based banking that makes it easy for users to save in US dollars and spend in Sudanese pounds.

Bloom offers Mastercard debit cards in both currencies, and members can receive international transfers from the US, UK, Europe and Gulf States at no charge. Banking services are provided by the Export Development Bank, which is licensed by the Central Bank of Sudan.

The fintech is the first Sudanese startup to be backed by Y Combinator and is joining YC's Winter '22 batch. Bloom has plans to expand to other countries in East Africa.

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In a precarious world, consumers seek brands that help them build resilience. And to digital technologies that enable them to manage and reduce uncertainty — whether it's an app that can hold balances in both Sudanese pounds and US dollars or a VR experience that prepares children for bushfires.