Andela, a startup that trains software developers in Africa and gives them full-time opportunities at international companies has received a $24 Million in a round led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The money according to Andela will help catalyze its growth across the African continent. The round also saw new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures) and existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and South Africa based CRE Ventures, among others participate.
Andela says this new 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 four year 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,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO said. “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 its launch in 2014, Andela has received over 40,000 applications. Out of these applications only the top 0.7% were accepted. 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 full time 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,” Joshua Mwaniki, Country Director of Andela Nairobi said. “In the next few years, we expect our developers to be launching the technology companies that will lead the technical revolution across Africa.”
Andela accepted its first Kenyan class in August of 2015, just over a year after launching in Lagos, Nigeria. It says the latest financing will bolster the company’s ability to seek and spread extraordinary technical talent across the continent.
As part of the new funding, Andela says it plans to announce a third African country before the end of the year.