Next Million Dollar Startups

Forbes
May 31, 2020

For the sixth year in a row, Forbes has teamed up with True­Bridge Cap­i­tal Part­ners to search the coun­try for the 25 fastest-grow­ing ven­ture-backed star­tups most like­ly to reach a $1 bil­lion val­u­a­tion. True­Bridge asked 300 ven­ture cap­i­tal firms to nom­i­nate the com­pa­nies they thought were most like­ly to become uni­corns, while Forbes reached out direct­ly to more than 100 star­tups. Then came the deep­er look, as we ana­lyzed finances for rough­ly 140 of them and inter­viewed founders. This list rep­re­sents the 25, in alpha­bet­i­cal order, that we think have the best shot of reach­ing the bil­lion-dol­lar mark.

Com­pa­ny:  Andela

CEO:  Jere­my John­son

Founders: Iyi­noluwa Aboye­ji, Ian Carnevale, Nada­yar Ene­ge­si, Jere­my John­son (CEO), Brice Nkengsa, Christi­na Sass

Equi­ty Raised: $181 mil

Esti­mat­ed 2019 rev­enue: $50 mil

Lead investors: Chan Zucker­berg Ini­tia­tive, CRE Ven­ture Cap­i­tal, Gen­er­a­tion Invest­ment Man­age­ment, Spark Cap­i­tal

From its head­quar­ters in New York, Andela works to solve the tech-work­er short­age in the Unit­ed States by iden­ti­fy­ing and train­ing soft­ware devel­op­ers in Africa and then embed­ding them into the remote engi­neer­ing teams of com­pa­nies like Microsoft, Face­book and Google. John­son, 36, cofound­ed the com­pa­ny two months after tak­ing his first start­up, online edu­ca­tion firm 2U, pub­lic in 2014. “We have become the pri­ma­ry pipeline con­nect­ing the tech­nol­o­gy ecosys­tems across Africa with the U.S,” he says. Though the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic has slowed Andela’s plans for expan­sion as com­pa­nies freeze hir­ing, John­son argues that over the long term it will increase com­pa­nies’ com­fort with hir­ing work­ers thou­sands of miles away.

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