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.
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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