Stripe backer Entrée Capital bets on Nigeria’s Mono in seed round

 Stripe backer Entrée Capital bets on Nigeria’s Mono in seed round

The Mono team

Mono, a nine-month-old financial data application programming interface (API) startup, said Monday it has raised a seed round of funding from Entrée Capital and returning investor Lateral Capital.

Entrée Capital, which has previously invested in firms like Stripe, Gusto and Kuda, was joined by Gbenga Oyebode’s fund The Continent Venture Partners and Kuda Bank CEO Babalola Ogundeyi.

Mono said it secured $2 million in the seed round, taking its overall funding to around $2.6 million. It had raised a small sum from YC Combinator earlier this year and $500,000 in a pre-seed round last September.

The company had raised the pre-seed round from Lateral Capital, an investor in Appzone, Asoko Insights; Ventures Platform, an early backer of Paystack and Kudi; Golden Palm, an investor in Andela and Flutterwave; Rally Cap Ventures; Idriss Bello, an early investor in Flutterwave and Andela; and Olumide Soyombo, among others.

Mono was founded by Abdul Hassan, who is also its CEO, and Prakhar Singh, the CTO. Hassan, who was previously a product manager at Paystack, had joined hands with Singh, a software engineer at Voyance, to help manage multiple bank accounts in one place via an app. But they pivoted to building out the infrastructure instead of the app.

This infrastructure now enables its clients— internet businesses and developers — to build apps that make transfers from their customers’ bank accounts instantly and help them understand their users’ cash flow with more detailed information.

“This new capital will help us double down on our core platform (Mono Connect) and launch new products and features to ensure Mono is the most powerful — and reliable — way for businesses and developers to access financial accounts in Africa,” Hassan said in a blog post.

The startup is looking to expand in other markets, starting with Ghana and thereafter Kenya.

Mono joins a number of fintech enablers in Africa that have raised capital this year. Last month, Lagos-based Okra raised around $3.5 million in a seed funding round led by Silicon Valley seed-stage investor Susa Ventures.

Appzone secured $10 million in a Series A round of funding to build an ecosystem for Africa’s banking and payments sectors. The round was led by mid-market PE firm CardinalStone Capital. Other investors that took part were V8 Capital Partners, Lateral Capital, Constant Capital and Itanna Capital Ventures.

Another peer firm that raised capital recently is South Africa’s Stitch Money Corporation. The startup, which builds APIs focussed on financial technology, came out of the stealth mode and announced its seed funding round of $4 million in February.

Vivek Sinha

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