Andela, now valued at $1.5 billion with over $200 million in Series E funding

Andela, now valued at $1.5 billion with over $200 million in Series E funding - Startup Lagos

Andela, a New-York based global startup renowned for providing remote engineering talent, has just secured over $200 million in Series E funding. In a round, led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, with contributions from Whale Rock, Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Spark Capital, the startup has successfully raised these funds to fuel its growth. Earlier in 2019, in a Series D funding, the company had raised about $100 million, to take its valuation to over $700 million. With a current valuation of over $1.5 billion, Andela joins the billion-dollar ranks of OPay and Wave, which only recently hit unicorn status, as well as Flutterwave, Jumia, Interswitch, and Fawry.

Lydia Jett, Founding Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will be joining the board of directors at the company, as part of the deal.

Andela: Global expansion

Andela - Driving access to global top-tier engineering talent.
Andela – Driving access to global top-tier engineering talent. Image Credits: Andela

With these funds, the company is looking at consolidating its expansion steps, as well as adopting additional technologies to support its overarching goals. The company had started out as a training hub for junior developers in Lagos, Nigeria, in 2014, offering them placements in early-stage companies in the US. As their goals grew, and focus expanded to ensuring the quality and consistency in the supply of talent, the company had found ways to reengineer its approach. Part of this came from getting to leverage better on technology to connect supply and demand across the continent. As Johnson is quoted as saying,

There are a lot of moving pieces, so additional technology to do that faster is always interesting. In the process, we are moving into AI as a part of that.

Within the past year, the company has been intent on global expansion, with a geographical spread to over 37 new countries, soon after going fully remote. The COVID pandemic and the new realities occasioned by mobility restrictions stimulated a rise in demand for remote software engineering talent, with a 750% increase in applicants outside Africa, and a 500% increase in applicants from Africa. The startup has hubs set up across Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, that aids in the local sourcing of talent within these countries to constitute parts of agile remote teams for companies.

Providing easy access to top-tier technology talent

For over seven years since its inception, the startup has been committed to providing a broad global talent network for companies to connect and hire senior vetted remote software engineers from emerging markets. Recognizing the gap in the shortage of top-tier technology talent, the startup was launched in 2014 to address these challenges and offer employers the easy opportunity of attracting diverse talent. The vision of its founder, Jeremy Johnson has broadened its reach across more than 80 countries and over six continents. The company has churned out viable and skilled engineering talent to the tune of more than a thousand, providing jobs to many, as well as workforce for companies like Cloudflare, Github, and ViacomCBS.

Seni Sulyman speaking to Andela staff.
Seni Sulyman speaking to Andela staff. Image Credits: Pulse, 2019

Around late 2019, the company began to restructure to focus majorly on senior software engineering talent, letting go of over 420 junior engineers across Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria, and a later 135 junior talent. Andela had utilized the opportunity of the pandemic to inaugurate a fully remote model for its workforce and drive its positioning as a global company.

As Johnson goes on to highlight, in an announcement on the company website,

In the future, global hiring will be the default position. It will be faster, easier and more effective to hire globally through Andela than it is for companies to hire locally today. As a result, companies will have access to better talent, and talent will have access to more compelling roles.

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