Founded on the idea that brilliance is evenly distributed around the world but opportunity is not, Andela, the most selective technology training program in Africa, today announced a Series A funding round. Led by Spark Capital, the funding will help meet the growing demand for Andela’s world-class remote software developers in the United States and Europe. The new funding will also help Andela maintain its growth in Nigeria and Kenya, while expanding across Africa.
Additional investors include Omidyar Network, LearnCapital and other leading investors from North America and Africa.
Launched in Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, Andela finds Africa’s best and brightest, trains them to become software developers and connects them with companies remotely around the world. Spanning multiple industries and continents, Andela’s clients range from Fortune 100 companies including Microsoft, to fast-growing technology breakouts like Udacity. With more than 15,000 applications, Andela’s acceptance rate is below 1%.
“Spark Capital prides itself on identifying companies with the potential to transform an industry, and we see that potential in Andela,” commented Spark Capital general partner Alex Finkelstein, who is joining the Andela board. “Offering talent-as-a-service, Andela is tapping into the world’s most underutilized resource – human capital – and leveraging it to empower global enterprises to thrive.”
“Spark’s investment in Andela will accelerate our efforts to bring the success we’ve had in Nigeria to other countries across the African continent,” said Andela co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson. “There is an incredible demand for world-class technology talent in global markets, and an equally strong desire for new career opportunities across Africa. This investment will help us meet both challenges.”
Over the course of their four-year experience at Andela, developers can earn five times the average middle-class Nigerian income and save thirteen times as much. In addition, they join a network of the smartest, most driven and technically savvy young people on the continent.
“We are proud to be the lead impact investor in Andela,” said Amy Klement, partner at Omidyar Network. “It is highly unusual to find a company with the potential to become not just a global business, but a powerful engine for social impact, and Andela is just that sort of enterprise. Andela embodies the idea of a mission with a business.”
Andela’s seed funding investors include Steve Case, Omidyar Network, Founder Collective, Rothenberg Ventures, LearnCapital, Melo7 Tech Partners and Chris Hughes.