Why Nigerian fintech Mono is taking $125k from Y Combinator after a $500k pre-seed round

Prakhar Singh and Abdulhamid Hassan, Mono’s co-founders. Image credit: Mono

American startup accelerator Y Combinator (YC) can have 36 startups taking half in its winter 2021 programme. The correct African startup within the workforce is Mono, a Nigerian fintech constructing APIs for open banking and simplified financial accounts administration.

Mono was founded by Abdulhamid Hassan and Prakhar Singh. They launched the firm in August 2020 and a month later, closed a pre-seed round of $500,000. Lateral Capital, Rally Cap Ventures, Golden Palm Investment, and Ventures Platform invested in that round.

After leaving a product manager purpose at Paystack in 2019, Hassan joined Voyance, an files science firm. He and Singh identified a gap; Nigerian digital businesses stumbled on it sophisticated sourcing financial files about their customers from banks. 

They began Mono to give these businesses tools to obtain entry to buyer financial institution accounts, develop statements, and position up habitual funds thru affirm debit. They checklist Carbon and Flutterwave among their fresh customers, and conception to elongate their presence beyond Nigeria to Ghana and Kenya.

Mono joins a checklist of on the very least 22 Nigerian startups delight in Paystack, BuyCoins, 54Gene, and Kobo360 who’ve participated in old batches of YC’s accepted programme. 

Nigerian startups dominate YC’s Africa portfolio of about 40 startups, with Egypt and Kenya following at a distance. Inventory purchasing and selling app Thndr and Marketforce, from Egypt and Kenya respectively, were the explicit African startups on the summer 2020 batch.

YC will invest $125,000 in Mono for 7% equity, and state the startup to a global network of founders, traders, and customers. The winter programme will be completed practically about unlike varied years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As such, key activities delight in position of job hours with YC companions and hangouts with Silicon Valley bigshots will occur over video conferencing. 

Mono’s YC rush is outstanding within the moderately quick time it has taken for the reason that firm was founded. Nonetheless the funding rush – from a $500k round to a $125k accelerator programme – shows the delight of position YC continues to defend in Africa’s startup ecosystem.

The three month programme will cease with a virtual demo day on the 23rd of March. At the one-day tournament, Mono can have one minute to pitch to a virtual room of traders who, if they delight in what they gape, might maybe presumably presumably invest within the firm.

YC’s investment stays a precious source of funding for early stage African startups. Nonetheless in Mono’s case, it’s a long way extra about receiving a badge of validation that opens doorways to the world.

YC-backed companies are for the time being valued at over $300billion and comprise publicly-traded companies delight in AirBnB and DoorDash, and wide unicorns delight in Stripe and Instacart. Salvage entry to to this network affords a gateway to receiving funding from institutional mission capitalists round the world.

Mono’s pre-seed traders also stand to hang pleasure within the YC rush. 

A seed round after the three months programme will give the firm a vastly greater valuation (according to of us acquainted with the approach), and boost the investor’s expected lengthy-duration of time returns.

Mono is one 12 African fintech startups we judge that you might maybe aloof look in 2021. Check the checklist here.

Correction: An earlier model of this article stated that Mono’s valuation diminished due to Y Combinator’s investment. Truly, it’s a long way unclear how the investment have an effect on’s the startup’s valuation. Additionally, we have clarified that Hassan didn’t meet Singh at Voyance.

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