Andela begins global expansion in 37 countries months after going remote across Africa

Tech Crunch
April 19, 2021

More than a year after the pan­dem­ic began, remote work shows no signs of going away. While it has its cons, it remains top of mind for poten­tial employ­ees around the world before join­ing a new company.

But while most peo­ple in Africa still go to phys­i­cal offices despite the pan­dem­ic, a few com­pa­nies have nev­er­the­less embraced this con­cept. Andela, a New York-based start­up that helps tech com­pa­nies build remote engi­neer­ing teams from Africa, was one of the first to pub­licly announce it was going remote on the continent.

Today, it is dou­bling down on this effort by announc­ing the glob­al expan­sion of its engi­neer­ing tal­ent. Over the past six months, the com­pa­ny has seen a 750% increase in appli­cants out­side Africa. More than 30% of Andela’s inbound engi­neer appli­ca­tions also came from out­side the con­ti­nent in March alone. Half this num­ber came from Latin Amer­i­ca while Africa saw a 500% increase in appli­ca­tions as well.

When Andela launched in 2014, it built hubs in Nige­ria, Kenya, Rwan­da and Ugan­da to source, vet and train engi­neers to be part of remote teams for inter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies. It also test­ed satel­lite mod­els in Egypt and Ghana as sub­sti­tutes to phys­i­cal hubs.

The com­pa­ny would issue a call for appli­ca­tions, select a few (less than 1%), pay them a salary for the first six months and pro­vide them with hous­ing and food. It also helped devel­op­ers improve their skills via train­ing and men­tor­ship. Over 100,000 engi­neers have tak­en part in the company’s learn­ing net­work and com­mu­ni­ty, and, as of 2019, Andela had more than 1,500 engi­neers on its payroll.

How­ev­er, after notic­ing that this mod­el wasn’t sus­tain­able, it began to make changes.

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