U.S. firm leads $100m tech start-ups investment in Nigeria, others.

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Generation Investment Management start up

U.S. firm leads $100m tech start-ups investment in Nigeria, others.

Former United States Vice President Al Gore’s sustainability-focused investment firm, Generation Investment Management (GIM) is leading a $100 million funding round in Andela, a technology start-up company.

  By this new investment, Andela­–with technology campuses in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – would increase its venture capital funding to $180 million.

  Andela, which builds distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software developers, added that the investment round, which is Series D led by GIM, was with participation from existing investors, including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital.

  Andela was founded in 2014 to connect Africa’s engineering talent with software developers worldwide. In four years, Andela has assessed more than 100,000 applicants, hired 1,000 software developers and integrated them into hundreds of companies, such as Safaricom, Percolate, and InVision.

  With the Series D funding, Andela is expected to accelerate the development of its technology platform to identify, develop and match talent at scale. By doing so, it will provide its customers with the data they need to understand developer performance and better manage distributed teams. The company will also expand its presence across Africa to meet the global demand for high quality engineering talent.

  Co-founder and chief executive officer of Andela, Jeremy Johnson, said: “It is increasingly clear that the future of work will be distributed, in part due to the severe shortage of engineering talent. Given our access to incredible talent across Africa, as well as what we’ve learned from scaling hundreds of engineering teams around the world, Andela is able to provide the talent and the technology to power high-performing teams and help companies adopt the distributed model faster.”

  However, country director at Andela Nigeria, Omowale David-Ashiru, said the firm had been a critical player in the country’s technology revolution.

  “Due to our unwavering commitment to our mission throughout the last four years, Andela has grown into a thriving platform for hundreds of technologists in Nigeria. With this investment, Andela will accelerate the development of Africa’s best tech talent in Nigeria and beyond,” she stated.

  Co-head of Growth Equity at GIM, Lilly Wollman, noted that her firm’s investment in Andela resulted from its deep research into the future of work.

  “We believe Andela is a transformational model to develop software engineers and deploy them at scale into the future enterprise.

  “The global demand for software engineers far exceeds supply, and that gap is projected to widen. Andela’s leading technology enables firms to effectively build and manage distributed engineering teams. We are great admirers of the outstanding team, mission and culture Andela has built across two continents and five countries,” she said.

  With tech campuses in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, Andela has been recognised as “The Best Place to Work in Africa.”

  In 2018, The Wall Street Journal named Andela one of the 25 technology companies to watch, and the year prior, Fast Company ranked it as the most innovative company in Africa. This year, Andela is projected to double in size, hiring another 1,000 software developers and investing heavily in data, engineering, and product development.

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