How Nigeria’s leading tech start-up received $100million from Al Gore’s company

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In a deal said to be the third-largest venture investment ever for an African start-up, Nigerian based ICT outsourcing firm, Andela has received 100 million dollars in funding from American-based Generation M, a company cofounded by former American Vice President; Al Gore.

Andela, which trains African technology experts and outsources them to foreign tech firms, was founded in 2004 by Ian Carnevale, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Jeremy Johnson and Christina Sass. The idea started with a Nigerian online education start-up called Fora, started by Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and some other young entrepreneurs. They contacted Jeremy Johnson, who was running another start-up called 2U and Andela was conceived.

Today, Andela has offices in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda. Aboyeji is no more in the company and Johnson is now the CEO. Over the past 15 years, Andela has trained thousands of people and now has over 1,100 software developers working for clients.

According to Bloomberg, Andela accepts about 1 percent of applicants, which means its process of selection is really tight. Its wages are generous by local standards. Developers who get into the program make four-year commitments to the firm, both to offset the cost of their training and because otherwise they’d become recruiting targets for foreign firms.

Andela is not new to huge investments from foreign venture capitalists. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) set the pace in 2015 with a $24 million investment, followed by $40 million from a coalition led by CRE Venture Capital, a South African Venture Capital firm, in 2017. With the latest round of funding, Andela’s total seed investment amounts to $180 million.

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