Decagon, a Nigerian information technology startup, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round to support its mission of transforming exceptional software engineers, many of whom come from underrepresented backgrounds. It also intends to train them and connect them with dream jobs and funding.
Paul Kokoricha, ACA Managing Partner, and Tokyo-based UNITED Inc. also invested in the round, which was led by Kepple Africa and Timon Capital.
Decagon, which was founded in 2018 by Chika Nwobi (CEO), aims to address the global underrepresentation of black people in tech, beginning with Nigeria, by training and connecting engineers to work remotely with local and international companies.
The financing is made possible by a collaboration between the financier Sterling Bank and Nigeria’s central bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It enables Decagon to offer a Pay-After-Learning program that includes laptops, housing, internet, a meal allowance, and a stipend for trainees. According to the company, no upfront payment is required.
The new funds will be used to expand the startup’s edtech, fintech, and future of work efforts. Female participation in the startup’s cohorts will be increased from 25% to 50% in the next three years, according to the company’s current statistics.