In February, Nigerian fintech startup Mono announced its acceptance into Y Combinator, same time, it built Plaid for Africa.
Three months later, the startup has a different mission: to power the internet economy in Africa. It has closed $2 million in seed investment toward that goal.
The investment comes nine months after the company raised $500,000 in pre-seed last September and two months after receiving $125,000 from YC.
Mono’s total investment moves up to $2.625 million, and investors in this new round include Entrée Capital (one of the investors in Kuda’s seed round), Kuda co-founder and CEO Babs Ogundeyi; Gbenga Oyebode, partner at TCVP; and Eric Idiahi, co-founder and partner at Verod Capital. New York but Africa-based VC Lateral Capital also invested after taking part in Mono’s pre-seed.
Launched in August 2020, the company streamlines various financial data in a single API for companies and third-party developers.
Mono allows them to retrieve information like account statements, real-time balance, historical transactions, income, expenses, and much more
In addition to having a little over a hundred businesses like Carbon, Aella Credit, Credpal, Renmoney, Autochek, and Inflow Finance access customers’ bank accounts for bank statements, identity data, and balances.
Mono has also connected over 100,000 financial accounts for its partners and analyzed over 66 million financial transactions so far.
CEO Abdul Hassan states that the API fintech space is just an entry point for a big data company.
“The way I see it, our market is not that big. Compare the payments market now with 2016, when Paystack and Flutterwave just started. The payments space in 2016 was very small and the number of people using cards online was very small,” said Hassan, who co-founded the company with Prakhar Singh.
“It’s the same thing for us right now. That’s why our focus isn’t only on open banking but on data. We’re thinking of how we can power the internet economy with data that isn’t necessarily financial data.
For instance, think about open data for telcos. imagine where you can move your data from one telco to another instead of getting a new SIM card and making a fresh registration.
That’s where I see the market going, at least for us at Mono.”
Abdul Hassan (CEO) and Prakhar Singh (CTO). Image Credits: Mono
He added that the company is set to build products to diversify from financial offerings.
This will include connecting with payment gateways (Paystack and Flutterwave) and other fintech-like wealth management startups Piggyvest and Cowrywise.
When you’re able to connect to all the systems, a lot of use cases will come up.
The first step is how can we connect to all available data and open it up for businesses and developers,” he continued.
Therefore, Mono will use the funding to reinforce its current financial and identity data offerings and launch new products for diverse business verticals.
Furthermore, mono has a place to launch in Kenya and Ghana. The Ghana office will launch next month.
Some of these partners include five banks (GTBank, Fidelity Bank, and three unannounced banks) and the mobile money service arm of MTN Ghana.
“Our expansion is mostly inspired by our customers looking to expand to other markets, same with some of our products. We work with our customers to give them the right tools to build new experiences for their customers,” Hassan stated.
Mono is one of three API fintech companies to have raised a seed investment this year.