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 new funding, Spark’s first investment in Africa, will help Andela maintain its growth in Nigeria and Kenya while expanding across the continent to meet the growing demand for Andela’s world-class training.
Additional investors include Omidyar Network, LearnCapital, and other leading investors from North America and Africa.
Launched in Lagos, Nigeria in 2014, Andela was co-founded by Iyinoluwa “E” Aboyeji, a serial Nigerian entrepreneur who was educated in Canada before returning home to help start the company.
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 help accelerate our efforts to empower young people across the continent with the skills they need to perform at the highest levels of the global technology industry,” said Aboyeji. “After completing their four-year long commitment to Andela, we expect Andela developers to go on to found the companies that will transform the tech landscape in Africa and beyond. Andela’s mission is personal. It reflects a lifelong goal to help young Africans like me make the most of a world-class education and contribute to the digital economy, lifting themselves – and our continent – along the way,” he explained.
Andela developers 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.