Andela, a technology start-up founded by the duo of Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Jeremy Johnson to train coders in the African continent, has raised an additional $40 million in Series C funding to keep its dream of connecting African tech talents with businesses on track.
Specifically, Andela plans to use the $40 million to launch two new offices in yet-to-be-specified African countries to join its offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. Andela also aims to double its pool of developers from 500 to 1,000.
Andela got some major attention just over a year ago, when the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led a $24 million investment in the start-up.
Now, Andela has secured a second major investment as it has raised $40 million in a Series C round led by the pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital with DBL Partners, Salesforce Ventures, Amplo and TL com Capital participating.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative had earlier invested $24 million last year and Spark Capital in 2015. Other early investors included Chris Hughes, Co-founder of Facebook, Steve Case, Omidyar Network, Founder Collective, Learn Capital, Melo7 tech partners and Rothenberg Ventures.
“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,” Andela CEO Jeremy Johnson said in a statement.
“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.”
Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former Nigerian Minister of Communication Technology Ombola Johnson will join Andela’s board.
“At present, there is more capital to fund ideas globally than there are people to build them,” Pule Taukobong, a founding partner of CRE Venture Capital who is also joining Andela’s board, said in a statement.
“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 was founded in 2014 to develop coders from Africa and put them at the services of top technology companies from around the world in the attempt to bridge the technology gap in the world’s second largest continent.
They currently have campuses in Lagos, Nairobi and Kampala. The coders undergo a six months intensive training where they are paid a small salary as well as been provided with a laptop, two meals a day and subsidized housing. Afterwards they have jobs secured for them in places like Viacom, Gusto, Mastercard Labs, Github amongst many others.
The process for entry into the training academy is so intensive that only about 0.7% applicants are successful according to reliable sources. It has been said to have a much harder entry rate than the world famous Harvard.
So far, it has hired five hundred developers with the firm spending $15000 in the training of each developer during the six month period. Andela pays a competitive salary of about $2500 per month in Lagos.
In the words of its CEO, Jeremy Johnson, ‘Andela is a mission-driven, for-profit company; you can actually build businesses that create real impact.’