DBL invests in Andela

By Jonathan Shieber
October 11, 2017

Andela, a tech train­ing and devel­op­ment out­sourcer for African coders, raises $40M

Andela, a startup that trains devel­op­ers in Africa and hires them out to global tech com­pa­nies, has raised $40 mil­lion in Series C funding.

The financ­ing came from CRE Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, a pan-​​African ven­ture firm, with addi­tional par­tic­i­pa­tion from DBL Part­ners, Amplo, Sales­force  Ven­tures, and Africa–focused TLcom Capital.

Pre­vi­ous investors, includ­ing the Chan Zucker­berg Ini­tia­tive, GV, and Spark Cap­i­tal, also joined in fund­ing what is now one of the most highly funded African com­pany not based in Africa.

Andela says it will use the money to fund aggres­sive expan­sion plans — includ­ing the launch of two addi­tional offices in other African countries.

But the financ­ing comes as some local entre­pre­neurs have told us they worry about Andela tak­ing money and atten­tion away from other star­tups which are actu­ally based on the ground in the continent.

The com­pany was launched in 2014 to train African soft­ware devel­op­ers and place them in jobs at some of the world’s top tech­nol­ogy firms. The idea was to take an under­uti­lized tal­ent pool to help alle­vi­ate a global short­age of soft­ware devel­op­ers. As the com­pany notes, roughly 1.3 mil­lion soft­ware jobs went unfilled in the U.S. in 2016 alone.

Andela has built up cam­puses in Lagos, Nige­ria, Nairobi, Kenya and Kam­pala, Uganda to train coders and then put them to work on projects for com­pa­nies such as Mas­ter­card Labs, Via­com, GitHub, and Gusto.

To date, the com­pany has hired 500 devel­op­ers — which it calls the 0.7% — from its appli­cant pool of more than 70,000 candidates.

Andela pays its employ­ees a min­i­mal salary for the first six months after they join but gives them each a lap­top, pro­vides sub­si­dized hous­ing, and offers two meals per-​​day. That’s in addi­tion to tech­ni­cal and pro­fes­sional skills devel­op­ment, lead­er­ship train­ing, and men­tor­ship. The com­pany says it invests $15,000 in each devel­oper dur­ing this period.

After the six months, once devel­op­ers are pro­moted and begin client work, Andela says it pays a salary that is com­pet­i­tive within their local tech ecosys­tem. That goes up to around $2,500/pm in Lagos and around $3,000/pm in Nairobi.

Andela co-​​founder Jeremy John­son calls the busi­ness a “mission-​​driven, for-​​profit com­pany”. Indeed, he says Andela has “become a poster-​​child for that — that you can actu­ally build busi­nesses that cre­ate real impact”.

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