Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs in both Africa and North America, Andela trains software developers in Africa and gives them full-time roles in companies around the world. Backed by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV and Spark Capital, Andela has become one of the best-known tech startups on the African continent.
Andela has received more than 70,000 applications from 19 African nations over the past two years, accepting the top 0.7 percent. Once accepted, the software developers relocate to Andela’s offices in Lagos, Nigeria, or Nairobi, Kenya, where they spend six months specializing in a specific technology stack and completing open source projects to gain exposure to the worldwide developer community. Each developer is then paired with one of Andela’s 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,” Jeremy Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Andela, said in a statement.
Andela also aims to achieve a more balanced ratio of men to women in the developer community. Currently, 23 percent of Andela developers are women, compared to a global average of 5.8 percent. Andela has held multiple women-only recruitment cycles and bootcamps in Lagos and Nairobi. It also launched the “She Loves Code” initiative, in which women developers mentor young women in the community and host local events.
Andela has raised $40 million to date, including $24 million in a funding round led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation in June 2016.
"We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said at the time. "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.”