Nigerian Startup, Andela is $24m Richer, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. Here’s How, Why and the whole story!
$24 Million Dollars was raised from an initiative by Facebook CEO, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, supported by Andela 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.
The above mentioned initiative by Zuckerberg and Priscilla also known as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) was launched by the couple and first time parents to advance human potential and promote equality. In support of this mission, CZI funds nonprofit organizations, makes private investments and participates in policy debates, with the goal of making the world a better place for future generations.
Andela is an organization which connects companies with top technical talent. They identify high-potential software developers on the African continent, shape them into world-class technical leaders, and pair them with top technology companies as full-time distributed team members. From Udacity to Microsoft, companies at all stages have partnered with Andela to accelerate their product roadmaps while minimizing time spent interviewing, on-boarding, and training new hires. With headquarters in Lagos, Nairobi and NYC, Andela is building the next generation of global technology leaders.
This innovative collaboration began after Andela Global CEO and co-founder; Jeremy Johnson met directly with Zuckerberg at a meeting with the CZI team at an event hosted by the start-up’s previous investors at Learn capital. Zuckerberg and Chan showed how much they cared as their initiative hired a new education chief, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education James Shelton. The latest financing from CZI and other partners towards Andela valued at $24million (or N4.7bn) 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. Even more, the hope for Zuckerberg and other investors to maintain engineering quality at scale exists very largely.
Since Andela launched in Nigeria 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.
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.
“When companies interact with Andela developers right now, they think, this person is sort of amazing,”
The company’s biggest challenge is to prove that the quality of its graduates can be maintained at larger numbers.
“When companies interact with Andela developers right now, they think, this person is sort of amazing,” says Johnson.
After successfully setting up shop in Kenya and Nigeria and very recently San Francisco, Andela plans to set up in a third African nation later this year. The company plans to double its just under 200 developers trained to date over the next year.
Congratulations are very well in order!