The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is leading a new $24 million Series B round of funding into Andela, the first lead investment for the fund set up by Facebook’s founder and his wife, a trained pediatrician, last year. Venture firm GV joined the round, alongside existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures.
Founded by veteran entrepreneurs from both North America and Africa, Andela has grown into one of the most visible technology movements on the African continent by bridging the gap between skilled software developers and the companies that need them. Andela developers are currently working with a number of high-growth engineering organizations, which range from venture-backed startups like 6Sense and the Muse to industry leaders including Google and Microsoft.
“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.”
In the past two years, Andela has received over 40,000 applications and accepted the top .7 percent. 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. 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,” saysJeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela. “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.”
Andela will use the capital to fuel growth on the African continent, giving global partners increased access to untapped technical talent. With nearly 200 engineers currently employed by its Nigeria and Kenya offices, Andela plans to announce a third African country by the end of 2016.
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