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API Startup, Mono joins Y Combinators Winter 2021 batch

Nigerian fintech, Mono has joined 39 other African startups for Y Combinators Winter 2021 batch to access funding.



Mono, an Application Programme Interface (API) that helps companies and third-party developers to access their customers’ financial accounts in Nigeria announced that it had been accepted into Y Combinators Winter 2021 batch. Mono has joined 39 other African startups that are already in the accelerator’s portfolio.

Founded in 2020 by Prakhar Singh and ex-Paystack employee Abdul Hassan, Mono helps businesses in Africa access their customers’ financial accounts for data and payments. This sort of interface is super useful if you’re a digital lender looking to use a user’s bank statement to determine their capacity to take loans.

API fintech startups are becoming such a big deal. Since Visa acquired Plaid, another API company, investors have been on the lookout for new API startups. That is why okra, one-pipe, and Mono have been able to raise funding faster than others.

API makes everything seamless. API startups get data from different sources and aggregate it into a database where businesses can get access to them with their users’ consent. This data can be used to solve various problems.

According to TechCrunch, Mono has partnerships with more than 16 financial institutions in Nigeria and has a little over a hundred businesses like Carbon, Renmoney, Flutterwave, and Indicina using its platform. They process about 5 million data sets per hour,

The company is also planning an imminent pan-African expansion to Ghana and Kenya and subsequently become a global company.

What this means: Being Admitted into Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 batch is a big deal as the six-month-old startup will receive $125,000 in seed funding with the possibility of follow up funding in March.

What you should know: In September 2020, Mono raised a $500,000 pre-investment round from early-stage investors like Lateral Capital, Ventures Platform, Golden Palm Investments, and Rally Cap.

Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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Spotlight Stories

Spotify set to expand to Nigeria and other countries in Africa

Spotify has announced that it will be expanding its service to 85 new markets.



Spotify Set to Expand in 80 new markets across Asia, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America

Spotify, an audio streaming and media services provider announced that it will be expanding its service to 85 new markets. The expansion includes markets across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Prior to this expansion, Spotify was only available in five African countries:

  • South Africa
  • Tunisia
  • Morocco
  • Algeria
  • Egypt

The new countries available on Spotify will have the ability to sign up for free and paid Premium plans; while in select markets, Individual, Family, Duo and Student Plan options will be available in select markets. It will also be available on mobile and desktop web players. The company will also work with partners to introduce Spotify on more platforms, including TVs, speakers, wearables, and cars in the coming months.

According to Spotify, “The existing rich music cultures in each of these markets will now be able to reach Spotify’s global audience. All this untapped music energy and access to our innovative creator tools will help propel artists to new heights and empower them to turn their passion into a profession.

“Plus, giving our artists a global platform goes hand in hand with offering an unmatched catalog for our listeners. So, as we enter new markets, we’ll accelerate the discovery of more genres like K-Pop, reggaeton, and amapiano that have earned a place in the global music arena.”

Spotify currently has more than 340 million active users and 150 million subscribers using its ad-free premium product across 93 markets. This expansion will take the streaming giant to 178 markets globally.

What to expect

  • With the introduction of Spotify to the Nigerian market, there is likely going to be stiff competition between Apple Music, Deezer and now Spotify. Apple Music had previously led expansion in Africa by reaching 37 countries last year.
  • It is quite clear to see that the global streaming services have identified a thriving market in Africa and the rise of Afrobeats and other popular genres will mean more opportunities for partnerships with artistes and possibly increased streaming income.

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Tech News

Africa FinTech Foundry rolls out accelerator program, to fund Nigerian startups

Africa FinTech Foundry has commenced an accelerator program to provide funding and mentorship to promising Nigerian startups.



Startup funding in Africa, Fintech, Disrupt Africa

Africa FinTech Foundry has kick-started an accelerator program, which provides funds and mentorship for promising Nigerian startups. The accelerator program which is spearheaded by the Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF), is an initiative of Access Bank Plc.

The accelerated program officially opened up for entries a month ago and received over 306 entries. These entries were rigorously scrutinized by experts and whittled down to 30.

The 30 remaining applicants were further scrutinized by Head of the Africa Fintech Foundry, Mr. Daniel Awe; Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Access Bank, Mrs. Ayodele Olojede; and Vice President, Investments MBO Capital, and Fintech Consultant, Mr. Oshone Ikazobor, in a bid to narrow it down to 10-15 finalist.

What they are saying

Addressing newsmen at the event, Mr Awe reiterated that the accelerator program is aimed at empowering promising startups with resources to reach their full potentials.

He said “If a start-up has an idea and you throw it into a market of 42 million customers, the acceleration is going to be faster. So, it is using the entire ecosystem of our group to build the future of the country.

“In the next 10 years, these guys coming here we see them becoming a unicorn worth over $100 million and a season is coming where would see these startups becoming the next drivers of our economy.”

On the funding part of the accelerator program, he said, “Funding is based on ideas and what would be required to move the idea forward. We commit about N10 million. After they come into the accelerator program, there are a top-three but the other ones are going to be exposed to investors.

This initiative would have a direct impact on the economy because it is targeted at the medium scale businesses and these are the businesses that can change economies in terms of reducing employment rate and socioeconomic levels.”

What you should know: An accelerator program is a program that gives developing companies access to mentorship, investors, and other support that help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses.

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