What do Nigeria's API fintech startups have in common?
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Okra and Mono are two API fintech startups that have
in partnership with FLUTTERWAVE 05.11.2020
Good morning. In today's edition: -Nigeria's API Fintechs -My Life In Tech -Uber and Lyft win this round
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NIGERIA'S API FINTECHS
2020 has seen the rise of the new kids on the fintech startup block focused on building APIs. An application programming interface (API) is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. A fintech API for instance, may allow users access their savings account information when they login to use a budgeting app on their phone. It could also allow users to make online purchases with payment processors. Nigeria's new API fintechs: Okra and Mono are two Nigerian API fintech startups that have raised pre-seed rounds in the past year. How are these companies thinking? According to Abdulhamid Hassan, the co-founder of Mono, “Payments have been figured out. The next step is how can we enable other companies with data. That’s why you see companies like Okra and Mono coming up. Eventually, what we want to do is enable new types of companies that can use financial data to build new solutions.” How are they attracting investors? FOMO. One industry watcher says Visa’s acquisition of Plaid has put everyone on the lookout for the next big fintech play. Go deeper: Why API fintech startups are becoming a big deal in Nigeria.
MY LIFE IN TECH
What is it like leading two startups through a global pandemic that has disrupted businesses and basically made everyone throw away their strategy notes?
That's the question Jay Okezie answers on this week's My Life In Tech. Jay Okezie wears two hats. He's the founder of Tremendoc as well as the Cofounder of Naira Box. While Tremendoc is a telemedicine startup, Naira Box allows users to buy tickets for concerts and movies at the cinemas. The two businesses couldn't be any more different. Jay’s words: “I remember telling my angel investors that, see, this is why I’m not asking for too much money; all I need is just enough to pay salaries for three months but after that, we would be generating enough revenue to continue.”

“I was so sure that I didn’t need to market, you know, so I wasn’t even thinking about marketing. I believed that word-of-mouth would spread it like wildfire.” Read Jay’s My Life In Tech here
UBER AND LYFT WIN THIS ROUND
On Tuesday, Uber and Lyft and other “gig economy” companies had one of their best days in the business since the beginning of a global pandemic. Some background: In August, a judge ruled that Uber and Lyft will have to classify their drivers as employees rather than independent contractors. That ruling meant that gig economy companies would have to provide their employees with benefits like health insurance, paid sick leave and overtime. The ruling argued that these companies had avoided providing these benefits by misclassifying their workers. That ruling would have made business even more expensive for Uber and Lyft. Proposition 22 provides a way out: Proposition 22, a California state ballot essentially put the question of whether gig companies should classify workers as independent contractors or employees. It was a measure designed to circumvent the state labor law. In the end, voters chose to allow companies like Uber continue to classify their workers as independent contractors. As far as victories go, that was a rather expensive one. Go deeper: Uber and Lyft drivers in California will remain contractors.
EVENT
The second episode of Building From Ground Hub with Paystack CEO, Shola Akinlade has been rescheduled for Friday, November 6. The event is created in partnership with UK-Nigeria Tech Hub. Do mark your calendars if you have registered, and if you haven’t, you can still register for the event here.
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- Olumuyiwa

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