Prakhar and I started working on Mono as a side project to fuel another side project (Muney) that we were building, to solve the problem of managing multiple bank accounts for young adults in Nigeria.
We wanted to create an app that could manage all of our financial accounts in one place, but we couldn’t find any infrastructure to support our use case and Plaid wasn’t available in Africa, so we had to decided to create Plaid for Africa ourselves. .
A year later, I’m proud to announce that we have raised a $ 15 million Series A funding round, led by Tiger Global – with participation from Target Global, General Catalyst and SBI Investments. Our existing investors, EntrÃ©e, Acuity, Ingressive, Lateral Capital and GPIC also participated. This increase brings Mono’s total external financing to $ 17.6 million.
Open banking and finance: the transformational layer for the next generation of digital businesses in Africa.
Typically, open banking is all about giving third parties access to retail banking data, but our goal at Mono is to take the concept of open banking a step further; giving consumers the ability to grant access to all of their digital accounts through banking services (GTBank, Kuda), offline channels (e.g. Paga, Kudi) and traditional entities (e.g. pensions, telecommunications, insurance), etc.
The rise of online commerce.
What started with improvements in payment processing – led by Interswitch, Flutterwave and Paystack – precipitated the rise of e-commerce and digital commerce. According to recent data, the monthly value of electronic payment transactions in Nigeria was nearly 100,000 billion naira in June 2020, and the trend continues to accelerate, which means that more financial data on consumers are generated and stored by banks.
The goal of Open Banking is for traditional banking institutions to give customers more control over their financial data and account information. It allows users to securely share their own transaction data with third parties.
With the digitalization underway in commerce across Africa, we believe it is the right time for an Open Banking platform to open up financial data stored by banks.
Regarding Open Finance
Our mission at Mono is to go beyond banking, providing access to financial accounts for data from multiple financial and non-financial sources. It can help digital businesses create innovative and more inclusive financial services. This includes financial data from digital players such as large tech companies (e.g. Flutterwave), fintechs (e.g. Kuda) or gig economy platforms (Uber), as well as traditional financial entities such as issuers of insurance (Tangerine), telecom operators (MTN) or even utility providers such as power companies (Buypower), because every action taken on these sources is data that can be harnessed to improve financial life client.
Our journey so far
Mono’s first product offering, Mono Connect, launched in 2020. Connect enables our partners to enable their users to securely link their financial accounts to share their data such as transactions, bank statements, income and identity data.
Since launch, we have grown to serve over 200 valuable clients and partners including Flutterwave, Renmoney, Aella, Credpal, Lendsqr, Float, Payhippo and many more.
To date, Mono has delivered over 200 million units of financial data to our partners.
Grow to increase our impact
Our team is currently made up of 30 amazing, mission-driven people who have helped Mono get to where it is today. In order to help businesses and developers across Africa take advantage of the open banking and finance revolution, we need to grow our team.
In addition, the newly raised funds will allow us to expand our products to new countries, intensify our product development efforts to meet growing market demand and support its exponential growth, double our existing connection coverage. , achieve over 50 integrations and launch our bank – bank payment initiation offering in Nigeria by the end of the year.
As our ecosystem takes off with the arrival of new users online and the creation of startups, the data generated, correlated and used is beneficial not only for the consumer, but also for all third-party service providers using Mono products.
After that ?
Our plan is very simple: continue to support our valued customers and partners with the most innovative features and solutions on the market to enable access to financial accounts. It starts with the upcoming launch of the much anticipated Mono DirectPay.
We are only at the start of our journey and our team is better equipped than ever to orchestrate the future of open banking and financial infrastructure for Africa.
Finally, thanks to my drive or death partner Prakhar for being irreplaceable – without his hard work Mono won’t be here today. And to the rest of the team, thank you for everything!