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”.

Read the rest of the sto­ry at TechCrunch