Andela, the company that recruits and places African software developers in companies worldwide, landed $24 million in a Series B round last week, led by the Chan Zuckerberg initiative, the foundation set up by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Other investors participating in the round include GV, (the former Google Ventures), Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures.
While the investment marks a first lead investment for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Spark Capital, Omidyar Network and Learn Capital had all participated in Andela’s previous rounds, including, most recently, the firm’s Series A round in June 2015 which reportedly raised “well above” $10 million
Andela will use the capital to fuel growth on the African continent, increasing global firms’ access to the continent’s untapped technical talent. Currently the firm employs almost 200 engineers in its Nigeria and Kenya offices, and has plans to announce a third African country by the end of 2016.
“We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap,” said 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.”
Over the past two years, Andela has received more than 40,000 applications, accepting less than 1%. Once accepted, developers relocate to Andela’s facilities in Lagos or Nairobi where they spend six months specializing in a specific technology stack and completing open source projects to gain exposure to the international developer community. Once trained, Andela then pairs each developer with one of its vetted company partners as a full-time, distributed team member.
“Identifying and securing technical talent is a pain point for organizations all over the world, and a problem that Andela is addressing by bridging the gap between the most promising developers in Africa and the companies that need them,” Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela was quoted in the statement announcing the funding round last week. “Based on the caliber of Andela developers and the increasing acceptance of distributed teams, we have seen exponential growth over the past year and expect this pace to continue.”