Zuckerberg-backed Andela raises $40 million to connect tech firms with Africa’s best software developers

Andela, a startup that’s setting out to train

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Andela, a startup that’s setting out to train Africa’s best software developers and connect them with the world’s biggest technology companies, has raised $40 million in a series C round of funding. The round was led by African VC firm CRE Venture Capital, with participation from GV (Google’s VC arm), the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Salesforce Ventures, Spark Capital, DBL Partners, Amplo, and TLcom Capital. This takes Andela’s total funding past the $80 million mark and comes a little more than a year after the company nabbed $24 million in funding from major names that include GV and Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg’s new foundation — Andela was CZI’s first-ever investment. Founded in 2014, Andela runs a pretty unique program, insofar as it pairs some of Africa’s top students with companies seeking the best tech talent. It is also very selective. With more than 70,000 applicants across the continent so far, Andela’s six-week vetting process has heralded just a 0.7 percent acceptance rate — it really is about finding the best of the best. Andela’s official HQ is in New York, but it has local hubs in Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda that have helped the company hire around 500 developers, to date. Those selected spend six months in a “rigorous onboarding program” before being matched with one of Andela’s partner companies. “Andela is investing in our continent’s future technology leaders, who are already playing a much-needed role in solving both African and global problems,” explained Seni Sulyman, country director of Andela Nigeria. “With each new partnership, we are simultaneously proving to the global tech industry that brilliance is evenly distributed irrespective of gender, culture, or nationality. As we unleash an entire generation of technologists, we will secure Africa’s role as an equal partner working alongside the rest of the world to advance human potential.”

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