Andela, a company that identifies the most talented software engineers and problem solvers in Africa and prepares them for successful careers with top global tech companies, is today announcing $24M in Series B funding to catalyze its growth across the African continent.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led the round, with participation from new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures) and existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and South Africa-based CRE Ventures, among others. For Andela, the investment represents an international seal of approval from the most respected and innovative minds in the global tech ecosystem, and a validation of the caliber of Nigerian technical talent. Through its four-year technical leadership program, Andela provides a pathway for talented Nigerian programmers into the global tech economy. “We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not.
Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” says Mark Zuckerberg. “Companies get access to great developers, and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities. Priscilla and I believe in supporting innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world — and what Andela is doing is pretty amazing.” Since Andela launched in 2014, it has received over 40,000 applications and accepted only the top 0.7%.
The program begins with an intensive skills ramp-up, during which developers complete open-source projects and specialize in a specific tech stack. Then, they’re placed as full-time software engineers with Andela’s partners, which range from venture-backed startups in Silicon Valley and New York to global industry leaders including IBM and Microsoft.
“Andela’s mission statement to develop hundreds of thousands of world-class software developers in Nigeria and across Africa is very compelling”, says Seni Sulyman, Director of Operations. “The ambition is so bold, and the energy it creates is so incredible, that I couldn’t imagine walking away from the challenge. I fully expect alumni of Andela to be launching the companies that will lead the technical revolution across Africa.” Sulyman joined Andela in May after completing his MBA at Harvard Business School and returning to Nigeria to build and launch a new private B2B airline. Sulyman was born and raised in Nigeria, and had begun his career in the US and Canada before surrendering to a growing desire to make an impact at home. Sulyman encourages fellow Africans, both at home and abroad, to join the Andela movement and help write the future of the digital revolution in Lagos, Nairobi, and cities across Africa. Over the past two years, Andela developers have played a major role in building and supporting technology communities in both Lagos and Nairobi, participating in hackathons, hosting meet-ups, and forming local developer groups.
The latest financing will bolster the company’s ability to seek and spread extraordinary technical talent across the continent, as it plans to announce a third African country before the end of the year, as well as power efforts to attract the most talented team in engineering and management.