#Afrofuturistic is an on-going series documenting African companies and minds using technology and the internet to power Africa 2.0
People often say if you’re doing something right, people will notice you and that’s true. It sometimes might take a while for the right people to notice you, but eventually you’ll get the recognition you deserve. Not only is this another Monday Motivation, but it is also the case of a Nigerian-turned-Global Tech start-up, Andela.
Andela is a global engineering organization that extends engineering teams with world class software developers. In 2013, Ian Carnevale, Nadayar, Brice and Iyin started Fora, a distance learning platform for African universities. Meanwhile in New York, Jeremy Johnson was building something similar with 2U. After months of building relationships, fostering partnerships and mentoring, the team, Jeremy and Christina Sass met at Fresh and Co. on 28th and Park in NYC, talked about how Fora was failing, brainstormed on ideas that would eventually become Andela. Later on, they struck a deal; Nadayar left Canada, Jeremy whose company had just gone public left, Christina dropped her phD program at Harvard, Ian and Brice were in and Andela was birthed.
From a vacant duplex in ikoyi, the now-registered US corporation executes its job in Lagos and plays the role of clarifying Aftica as a global hub in the US, E added. Yesterday, Andela was a startup growing in the middle of Yaba (Nigeria’s largest tech park) that had graced the international media, raised a funding rounds, hosted Mark Zuck in Lagos, also topped with a $24Million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; today, Andela is spread across Africa training and building Africa’s legion of developers for the rest of the world, they just recently closed another funding round led by African investors [CRE VC] worth $40Million.
A company birthed in 2014 is quickly growing to become a prominent Tech company across the globe and it’s getting all the right attention along the way. Andela’s goal is simple:
This is a platform giving people who want to learn and succeed access and opportunity – Seni Sulyman, Andela Nigeria’s Country Director.
In this simple goal lies Andela ambitiousness. So ambitious that Tolulope Komolafe, a software developer for Andela, thought it was a scam first. Since it’s launch in 2014, Andela has received investment from pretty much around the world. After receiving over 700 applications from interested software developers in July of the same year, Andela selected 6 successful applicants to join the band. That same year, they were blessed with their first African investor by the name, Pule Taukobong. Mr. Taukobong happens to be Co-Founder of Africa Angels Network (AAN), an African angel investment company and he serves as the Chairman as well.
In 2015, he proceeded to launch CRE Venture Capital with his partner Pardon Makumbe. CRE continues the legacy of AAN and so far has invested in over 30 companies across 8 countries. Do I hear you clapping? On the 10th of this month, Andela released a statement about their Series C investment. It’s a $40 million investment that was led by CRE Venture Capital and was first reported by The New York Times.
This investment is probably the largest by an African Venture Capital into an African company. This worthy investment has secured Pule Taukobong a place on Andela’s board. There, he joins top venture companies like Spark Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Alongside CRE, more companies have seen the vision and passion Andela possesses and have decided to invest as well.
In addition, we’re thrilled to welcome Salesforce Ventures, TLcom, DBL, and Amplo to the Andela family of investors. With them, Omobola Johnson, former ICT Minister of Nigeria and Partner at TLcom, Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia and Amplo Board Partner, and Nancy Pfund, Managing Director of DBL, will be joining our board as well, the company stated.
Andela believes that the future is African [Like More Branches Media], there is alot of brain-power here in Africa. Over the last couple of years, the conception of Africa being a land of poverty and illiterates has been greatly displaced. Left and right, Africans are breaking barriers and the World is feeding them with the recognition they deserve. That’s why Andela has taken it upon itself to recruit people reeking of potential, train them to harness their skills and teach them to believe in themselves. They have also connected them to world-class tech companies around the world to help improve their services and the results have been, as you may have guessed, fantastic.
Good talent shouldn’t be wasted. There is alot of potential here in Africa but unfortunately, due to poor educational standards and infrastructures, these potentials stay locked up.
Joining Andela isn’t sugar and spice though. When it comes to acceptance, they can be really strict. Infact CNN reported that it’s harder to get into Andela than into Harvard whose acceptance rate stands at 6% of its applicantions while Andela accepts 1% which has now dropped to about 0.7%. I believe this is because Andela doesn’t only see potentials but they invest in you aswell. How? Should you be accepted into the program, Andela gives you a MacBook, accommodation and two meals a day for the next 6 months. According to The New York Time, Andela invests about $15,000 in each new developer. And how does the company generate revenues? Well, clients (or potential clients) will pay Andela for each developer they employ. Part of the money goes to the developer as salary and the rest goes to Andela. Everyone’s happy.
Developers then proceed to sign a two year contract with the company but are expected to stay for four years. This is to help connect developers with more clients and the revenue generated will help with the recruitment of new developers. After this period, devs can then decide to go and work for other companies or even launch their own start-ups.
Joining Andela promises to be an interesting journey. Besides unleashing their potentials and harnessing their skills, Andela encourages them to be visionnaires and technologist of the New Age. The leaders of a very bright tomorrow.
Like Mandela, Like Andela – Richard Ogundiya
Written by: Adeshola Ogunleye & Richard Ogundiya.