In a Series A round led by Tiger Global, Nigerian fintech company Mono has raised $15 million. The round saw participation from existing investors Lateral Capital, GPIC Acuity VC, Entrée Capital and Ingressive Capital, and new investors SBI investment, Target Global and General Catalyst.
The round brings the total amount raised by Mono to $17 million since it came into existence last year. According to the startup, more than 200 million financial data transactions from more than 270 businesses, fintechs and developers have been processed. What Mono does is that it connect consumers’ bank accounts to financial applications. The company claims to have connected more than 150,000 bank accounts to financial applications in the last two months and is growing 45 percent YoY.
Alongside other fintech companies existing, Mono is working to increase access to financial services. The company believes that access to a financial ecosystem via an open API will help increase access to financial information. The company’s range of products enable this but according to the company’s CEO Abdulhamid Hassan, two products among its list of products give it an edge. These products are namely Statement Pages and DirectPay.
With Statement Pages, businesses can gain access to the financial accounts of their customers without needing the services of a developer or expert to do it for them. Its DirectPay, on the other hand, allows businesses to receive transfer payments from their customers within their app or web platform without these customers having to use their bank details. This service makes transfer payments instant and less cumbersome.
Although Mono’s products seem to be tailored to Nigerian audiences, it has already begun eyeing expanding into other African territories. The company’s CEO first spoke about expanding into Ghana and Kenya in May this year. The fintech has started with Ghana and has partnered with some banks and fin techs. Although it hasn’t taken off plans for Kenya, the startup also plans on expanding into three other African countries and South Africa naturally makes the list. According to the CEO, Mono will move into South Africa via a partnership with Absa bank before the year runs out. The goal is to be operational in five African countries by next year.
Concerns have been raised if the fintech is expanding simply because of its customers or because of pressure from its investors. “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. 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”, the CEO had to say.
The CEO also added that it didn’t plan to raise additional capital this year but that Tiger Global reached out to lead a round and Mono obliged. According to him, Tiger Global wanted to help build a big company.