Tech Startup Andela Expands Into Fourth African Market With Rwanda Hub

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 


Andela, a tech startup that trains and outsources African engineers and coders to work for global firms, has expanded its operations into Rwanda with the launch of a pan-African technology hub in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Nigerian startup, which is headquartered in New York City, has launched the pan-African technology hub in what is now the company’s fourth African market, according to ITWebAfrica.

The expansion into the East African nation is made possible by a partnership between Andela and the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board, an organization responsible for transforming the country into a dynamic global hub for business, investment and innovation.

Established in 2014 by four professionals working in the online education and recruitment space, Andela builds high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software developers, with those teams then working for tech companies across the world.

With offices in Lagos, Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya, Kampala, Uganda, and New York City, the company has been in search of its next location to expand to, and the Rwandan capital of Kigali suited the startup’s requirements.

Rwanda was chosen as the company’s fourth African destination and the location of its first pan-African hub due to its strong existing infrastructure and focus on innovation. The Kigali hub will add to the over 700 Andela developers currently based in Africa.

tech startup
Nigerian tech startup Andela has expanded into Rwanda with the launch of a pan-African tech hub. Photo – Andela

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.

African tech startup powering global tech teams

Since launching in 2014, the company has hired and developed more than 700 software engineers across the continent who collectively help power the technology teams of more than 150 global companies, including MastercardMicrosoft, Google, IBMViacom, Pluralsight and GitHub.

The company successfully raised $40 million in October last year as part of its most recent round of funding, according to ITNewsAfrica.

That 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, Forbes reported.

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.

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Existing investors also participated, including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital.

Andela’s total venture funding now amounts to more than $80 million, and it has been operating for four years in Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda.

Andela collects full-time salaries for its coders, distributing a third of the salaries to the workers and using the other two-thirds to pay for sales, marketing, overheads and expanding the company.

While they are going through Andela’s six-month training program, new hires get a MacBook, subsidized housing and two meals a day.  Employees commit to staying with Andela for four years. After that, they’re free to work directly for the companies that hire them.