African fintech startup, Mono, has raised a US$15 million Series A round to scale operations.
Mono had completed a $500,000 pre-seed investment last September with some local investors.
It participated in the most recent winter batch program by Y Combinator where it raised a seed funding of $2 million upon graduation before raising this Series A round.
The round was led by venture capital firm, Tiger Global, with participation from new investors like General Catalyst, Target Global (which also invested in neobank Kuda), and SBI Investment.
In addition to existing investors, new investors like Lateral Capital, Entree Capital, Ingressive Capital, GPIC, and Acuity VC also joined in the round, bringing Mono’s total raise to a little above US$17 million since its launch in 2020.
The investment in Mono is Tiger Global’s third major investment in Africa this year after FairMoney and Flutterwave.
Founded by Abdulhamid Hassan and Prakhar Singh, Mono is a secure and reliable open banking infrastructure that helps connect consumers’ bank accounts to financial applications thereby giving them access to payments and financial data.
Mono seeks to provide enterprise solutions to FMCGs, non-tech and traditional industries, and law firms with the capability to command more transaction volume, as a vertical expansion play it.
Mono has processed more than 200 million financial data transactions and those transactions are from more than 270 fintechs, businesses, and developers.
According to the CEO, the startup has around 30 staff members, doubling its headcount from the previous year. It has also connected more than 150,000 bank accounts in the last two months, growing 45x year-on-year in that regard.
Its current revenue is equivalent to what it did in the last three months combined.
Mono’s unique features
Two products give Mono an edge:
- DirectPay enables Nigerian businesses to receive bank transfer payments from customers, using the mobile app or web version, without using their debit cards.
- Statement Pages enable businesses have access to their customers’ financial accounts without the help of a developer.
Despite these additional features being tailored to a Nigerian audience, Mono seeks to scale to other markets like Kenya and Ghana for starters then Egypt and South Africa later on.
While it has delivered only on Ghana with the piloting of a few banks and fintechs like Tranzo and Oze, it still plans to expand into Kenya next year.
Mono’s CEO, Hassan, hinted that the company might complete the move to South Africa through a partnership with Absa bank this year.
According to Hassan, Mono’s quick expansion is fueled by its need to cater to customers’ needs: “Everything that we do at Mono is mostly customer-driven. Customers who want to launch lending or fintech apps in these countries say they can’t do so unless Mono is there,” he said.
“Based on how we’ve built our relationship and the kind of products we’ve built in Nigeria, people rely on us and say when we go to a country, they would also want to launch there.”
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