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Nigerian Fintech Mono Raises $2M Seed Funding To Diversify Into The Internet Economy

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API fintech startup, Mono, has announced a raise of $2 million in seed funding. This is just coming 2 months after it got selected into Y Combinator and netted $125,000 in funding.

The new investment is to enhance its operations as it diversifies into another sector of the Nigerian economy: the Internet Economy. Mono is barely a year old since it was founded by Abdulhamid Hassan and Prakhar Singh in August 2020.

Although it currently helps businesses access the banking details of their users with the user’s consent, the goal for Mono is much bigger than facilitating financial transactions. Founder, Abdulhamid said, “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.”

This latest funding round was participated in by Kuda Bank’s co-founder and CEO, Babs Ogundeyi; Entree Capital and The Continent Venture Partners’ Gbenga Oyebode. Verod Capital’s Eric Idiahi and New York’s Lateral Capital also took part in the funding round. Entree Capital participated in Kuda Bank’s $10 million seed raise 6 months ago.

In less than a year, Mono has raised funds in 3 rounds. The first was a pre-seed round of $500,000 that was raised to scale the adoption of its API in the fintech industry. Next came the $125,000 from Y Combinator and the latest is the $2 million which brings all the investments received to a total of $2.625 million.

Mono talked about expanding to Ghana and Kenya after raising its $500,000 round in September 2020. While that did not materialize since then, Hassan says it is now on the front burner and will be kickstarted in June with a number of customers like GTBank, Fidelity Bank and the mobile money service arm of MTN Ghana.

He explained that “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.”

Already, more than 100 fintechs use Mono’s API to access customers’ financial information. Some of these include money lending companies like Aella Credit, Carbon, Renmoney and Credpal. In the 9 months of its existence, it has connected over 100,000 financial accounts for its fintech users as well as analyzed more than 66 million financial transactions.

With its new focus on improving the internet economy and its latest cash injection, Mono will be strengthening its identity data offerings and its API for fintech as well as deliver new software for telcos and businesses in other verticals.

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Fund Raising

Proptech Startup SmallSmall Announces The Raise of $3m in Seed Funding

Lagos-based Nigerian prop-tech startup SmallSmall has announced the raise of $3 million ($2 million equity and $1 million debt) in seed funding.

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SmallSmall

Lagos-based Nigerian prop-tech startup SmallSmall has announced the raise of $3 million ($2 million equity and $1 million debt) in seed funding.

Formerly known as RentSmallSmall, the startup gives renters access to monthly rent payments while eliminating the pain points of landlords.

Speaking on the recent funds raised the startup co-founder Tunde Balogun said, “We started by understanding the pain points of landlords. Even though they collected rent one year upfront, the default rate of the yearly system is very high because when people’s finances take a hit, they might not be able to pay subsequent rent.

“The legal process of evicting tenants where they’ll have to wait six to 12 months is also not supportive of the landlords. “Our market is for young professionals with an average age of around 28 years. It’s a huge market.

“We surveyed almost 3,000 people last year in Lagos, which showed that 80% of them wanted to pay their rent monthly. So that tells you how much adoption the monthly space would have if the markets eventually opened up.”

He further disclosed that the fund will be used to expand the startup operations to other cities in Nigeria, such as Enugu, Jos and Portharcourt before the end of Q1 2023.

Founded in 2018, the startup has been leveraging technology to revolutionize Nigeria’s property rental market and has so far had over 476,000 people registered on the platform.

It has also saved renters from legal and agency fees, which has seen it transcend into one of the leading advocates for affordable and flexible rental payment platforms across West Africa.

SmallSmall has also enabled landlords to access quality tenants and help curb defaults of payments.

In 2021, the startup was accepted to join the techstars Toronto accelerator program, making it the first African property technology platform selected to join the program. 

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Fintech Startup Money Fellows Raises $31 M in Funding, Plans to Diversify Portfolio

Egyptian-based fintech startup Money fellows have raised $31 million in its latest series B funding round

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Money Fellows

Egyptian-based fintech startup Money fellows have raised $31 million in its latest series B funding round.

The funding round was led by Commerce ventures, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), and Arzan Venture, as well as funds from National Investment Company (NIC), Invenfin, Sawari Ventures, Existing investors Partech, 4DX, and P1Ventures who also invested in the round.

According to the startup, the fund will enable it to diversify its portfolio, expand its product offerings across the B2C & B2B segments and also expand other markets in Africa and Asia.

Speaking on the success of the fundraising, the CEO and founder of Money Fellows Ahmed Wadi said, “We are proud to share with our stakeholders and users the progress and growth which led Money Fellows to become one of the market-leading fintechs in Egypt, facilitating financial inclusion and digital transformation in the country.

“We wouldn’t have reached such an important funding milestone without the firm backing of our existing investors who understand and support the company’s vision as well as the perseverance and belief of our new partners in the company and the team’s ability to execute.

“The support we received from leading local and global venture capital firms in times of instability and scarcity of growth capital rounds is a testament to their faith and confidence in our business model, our team, and the overall opportunity that lies in the Egyptian market”.

Money fellows is a collaborative Group lending and savings platform. The app is aimed to connect people who are on the lookout for money circles but do not know each other.

Basically, the fintech startup digitized the traditional informal offline ROSCA (Rotating Savings and Credit Association) model that enables users to meet their financial needs.

The ROSCA model is currently in over 90 countries worldwide, with a variety of names, such as ‘Chit funds’ in India, ‘Gam’eya’ in the Arab world, ‘Committees’ in Pakistan, and ‘Tandas’ in Mexico.

MoneyFellows has so far racked up more than 500,000 users, with 200,000 active users. The startup revenue has been growing between 35 and 45 percent on a month-on-month basis.

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Moove Secures £15 Million Fund, Set to Scale up to 10,000 Vehicles by 2025

Moove, has raised £15 million fund from Emso Asset Management as it plans to scale up its operation in the U.K.

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Moove

Global mobility firm that provides revenue-based vehicle financing and financial services to mobility entrepreneurs Moove, has raised £15 million fund from Emso Asset Management as it plans to scale up its operation in the U.K.

The African startup which has a growing global customer base of mobility entrepreneurs recently launched in U.K. Its first expansion in Europe. The startup is now set to debut a 100% EV rent-to-buy model that provides access to brand new, zero-emissions vehicles for a flat weekly fee.

The new fund will enable the mobility startup which seeks to be the largest EV partner on Uber’s platform in London to scale to up to 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2025 as it had earlier disclosed.

Speaking on the recent financing received, co-founder and co-CEO at Moove Ladi Delano said, “This financing comes at a really exciting time for Moove. With our international expansion underway in the UK and India, we’ve already shown that affordable and accessible vehicle financing for mobility entrepreneurs is a global challenge and one we’re committed to solving at Moove.

“We’re looking forward to scaling up our operations in the UK to enable drivers to transition to electric vehicles to drive forward the electrification of mobility.”

Founded in 2019 by British-born Nigerians Ladi Delano and Jide Odunsi, Moove is democratizing vehicle ownership in Africa by providing revenue-based vehicle financing to mobility entrepreneurs and has so far amassed more than 50% month-over-month growth since its launch.

The startup has also partnered with CFAO Motors, a department of CFAO Automotive, Africa’s largest automotive distribution network with a presence in 36 countries, with a purchase of over 5,000 brand-new fuel-efficient Suzuki vehicles for its mobility entrepreneurs across Ghana and Nigeria.

The mobility startup has recorded over three million rides that have been completed in its Moove-financed vehicles across six markets in Africa which are Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, and Ibadan, with three product categories such as cars, trucks, and motorbikes.

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