Andela, a company that identifies the most talented software engineers in Africa and prepares them for successful careers with top global tech companies, is today announcing $24M in Series B funding to catalyze its growth across the African continent. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led the round, with participation from new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures) and existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and South Africa based CRE Ventures, among others.
For Andela, the investment represents an international seal of approval from the most respected and innovative minds in the global tech ecosystem, and confirmation of the caliber of technical talent in Kenya. Through its fouryear technical leadership program, Andela provides a pathway for talented Kenyan programmers into the global tech economy.
“We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” says Mark Zuckerberg. “Companies get access to great developers, and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities. Priscilla and I believe in supporting innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world and what Andela is doing is pretty amazing.”
Since Andela launched in 2014, it has received over 40,000 applications and accepted only the top 0.7%. The program begins with an intensive skills ramp up, during which developers complete open source
projects and specialize in a specific tech stack. Then, they’re placed as fulltime software engineers with Andela’s partners, which range from venture backed startups in Silicon Valley and New York to global industry leaders including IBM and Microsoft.
“Andela is thrilled to help grow the tech scene in Nairobi and continue the wave of companies putting East Africa on the map of tech innovation,” says Joshua Mwaniki, Country Director of Andela Nairobi. “In the next few years, we expect our developers to be launching the technology companies that will lead the technical revolution across Africa.” Joshua Mwaniki brings over 10 years of legal and management experience with both multinationals and startups.
Prior to joining Andela, his last stint was as Head of Payments and Global Product Manager at Cellulant, Ltd and prior to that with the NASPERS group for several years, where he served as the Country Manager for various business units. Mwaniki encourages fellow Kenyans, both at home and abroad, to join the Andela movement and write the future of the digital revolution in Nairobi, Lagos, and cities across Africa.
Andela accepted its first Kenyan class in August of 2015, just over a year after launching in Lagos, Nigeria. In both Nairobi and Lagos, Andela developers have played a major role in building and supporting technology communities, participating in hackathons, hosting meetups, and forming local developer groups.
The latest financing will bolster the company’s ability to seek and spread extraordinary technical talent across the continent, as it plans to announce a third African country before the end of the year, as well as power efforts to attract the most talented team in engineering and management.