Two Nigerian Fintech Startups Secure Spots in Y Combinator's W24 Batch

Two Nigerian Fintech Startups Secure Spots in Y Combinator's W24 Batch

By Staff Writer, 15 February 2024

Two Nigerian fintech startups, Cleva and Miden, have earned coveted spots in the latest W24 batch of Y Combinator, the prestigious Silicon Valley-based accelerator that played a pivotal role in the early growth of companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, and Dropbox.

The W24 batch commenced in January with a total of 137 startups participating. Among them, Cleva and Miden stand out as representatives from Africa, both hailing from Nigeria.

Cleva, established in 2023, aims to democratize access to USD banking services in emerging markets. Its platform enables users to receive payments from clients, employers, and investors worldwide directly into their digital Cleva accounts.

In January, Cleva announced a successful pre-seed funding round of US$1.5 million, with backing from Y Combinator along with investors like 1984 Ventures, The Raba Partnership, Byld Ventures, FirstCheck Africa, and several angel investors.

The other selected startup, Miden, founded in 2022, provides businesses with the ability to issue virtual cards to their customers through its API, facilitating seamless access to a variety of financial products.

Y Combinator's engagement with African startups has fluctuated since its W22 batch, which saw participation from 24 African startups. Subsequently, the number has declined significantly, with only seven African startups in S22, three in W23, and three in S23.

Nevertheless, Y Combinator boasts an impressive alumni network in Africa, including renowned companies like Flutterwave, Paystack, and Kobo360, among others. While its role in Africa's startup ecosystem remains somewhat ambiguous, entrepreneurs praise the positive impact it has on their businesses.

In 2022, Y Combinator announced an increase in its standard deal size to US$500,000, a figure now secured by Cleva and Miden. Previously, Y Combinator invested US$125,000 for a seven percent equity stake. Under the new standard deal, it also invests an additional US$375,000 through an uncapped SAFE with "Most Favored Nation" (MFN) terms.

Source: Tom Jackson / DisruptAfrica

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