African coding accelerator Andela, which recruits and trains software developers in Africa and embeds them into engineering organisations worldwide, has announced a US$24 million Series B funding round led by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The investment in Andela is the first lead investment by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, launched by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to advance human potential and promote equality.
Other investors in the round include new investor GV (formerly Google Ventures), and existing investors Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital, and CRE Ventures.
Andela will use the funding to accelerate its growth, and plans to announce a third African country by the end of 2016.
The company aims to bridge the gap between skilled software developers and the companies that need them, with Andela developers currently working with a number of engineering organisations, ranging 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,” 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.”
In the past two years, Andela has received over 40,000 applications and accepted the top seven per cent. Once accepted, developers relocate to Andela’s facilities in Lagos or Nairobi, where they spend six months specialising 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,” said Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Andela.
“Based on the calibre 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.”
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