Tech Startup Andela Secures $40M In Funding To Connect African Coders With US Firms
Andela, a startup that trains and outsources African engineers and coders to work for global firms, has secured a Series C round of funding to continue the company’s expansion.
With offices in Lagos, Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya, Kampala, Uganda, and New York City, Andela tries to recruit Africa’s best software developers. It successfully raised $40 million in the most recent round of funding, according to ITNewsAfrica.
Part of the money will be used to open offices in two more African countries over the next year, and double Andela’s developer base from 500 to 1,000 to meet growing demand, the company said in a press release.
The most recent funding round follows a $24 million Series B round in 2016, led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.
The $40 million investment was led by pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital. Co-founded by Pule Taukobong and Pardon Makumbe, CRE is based in Johannesburg and registered in the U.S. Other investors include DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital.
Existing investors also participated, including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital.
The round, which marks one of the largest investments ever led by an African venture firm into an Africa-based company, brings Andela’s total venture funding to more than $80 million.
Responding to a severe global shortage of software developers, Andela was formed to train and outsource software coders in Africa with the intention of having them work remotely for international companies. Around 1.3 million software jobs went unfilled in the U.S. in 2016 alone.
Andela has hired 500 developers so far since launching in 2014, selecting the best 0.7 percent of the more than 70,000 applicants from across the African continent, TechCrunch reported.
Software development teams work from Andela’s three Africa hubs for a variety of businesses including Mastercard Labs, Viacom, Microsoft, Google, and IBM, along with over 100 other U.S. partner tech firms.
Currently, 112 clients use Andela for their development requirements in the U.S. and 10 other countries.
Nurturing future African coders
More than 20,000 aspiring African coders across the continent have already used the company’s free online learning and training tools. By 2024 Andela hopes to have played a part in preparing 100,000 African developers for jobs, with thousands working for Andela at that point, according to the NYTimes.
Andela’s first funding round attracted U.S. venture capitalists including America Online founder Steve Case; seed-stage venture capital fund Founder Collective; San Francisco-based frontier tech firm Rothenberg Ventures; early-stage digital investors Melo7 Tech Partners, and Facebook early member Chris Hughes, bringing the total investment to date to over $80 million.
Seni Sulyman, country director of Andela Nigeria, said the investment is important in nurturing the African tech leaders of tomorrow:
“Andela is investing in our continent’s future technology leaders, who are already playing a much-needed role in solving both African and global problems,” said Sulyman, according to Pulse.
“With each new partnership, we are simultaneously proving to the global tech industry that brilliance is evenly distributed irrespective of gender, culture or nationality. As we unleash an entire generation of technologists, we will secure Africa’s role as an equal partner working alongside the rest of the world to advance human potential,” he added.
“Over the past three years, we’ve helped prove to the world that brilliance is evenly distributed. It’s now time to prove that our model of investing in extraordinary people isn’t just viable, but revolutionary,” says Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela. “Increasingly, African technologists will be launching high-impact companies and solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, and this round will help that happen faster.”
Pule Taukobong, Founding Partner of CRE Venture Capital, adds: “At present, there is more capital to fund ideas globally than there are people to build them. Andela is providing a solution to this global talent dilemma while building a business case for one of Africa’s greatest assets: our people.”
Andela will use the capital to fuel its aggressive expansion plans. The company aims to launch offices in two additional African countries over the next year, doubling its developer base from 500 to 1,000 to meet growing demand. Alongside this round, Pule Taukobong of CRE, Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister and Amplo Board Partner, and Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom and former Minister of Communication Technology in Nigeria, will be joining Andela’s board.