For Africa to be what we want her to be, Africans must commit to figuring out how to solve our own problems. We must invest in our people and equip them to contribute productively and creatively. The task of converting our large population into active contributors to Africa’s development sometimes seems daunting. But if we look at our human capital as an opportunity, not a problem, we can galvanize a critical mass of the current generation of Africans to become problem solvers and leaders building the future. I joined Andela in May 2016 to pursue this mission.
Since then, Andela Nigeria has tripled in size to just a few people shy of 400 employees; supported over one hundred companies in augmenting their engineering teams; hosted Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Case, Chris Lambert, US Ambassador Symington, Kent Beck, Mark Essien, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Shola Akinlade and many more of our local and global role models. The fire that burned inside me on my first days has gotten larger with each day working alongside colleagues who are committed to a singular view of how the future must be. We are not leaving it to chance.
Today, we announced our $40m Series C funding round. It is monumental for many reasons.
First, this round was led by an African investor — CRE Venture Capital — who’s been there with us from day 1. Our research indicates that this is likely the largest venture round in Africa ever led by an African investor. It’s a HUGE deal. It signifies that just as Andela has proven to the global tech ecosystem that Africans should be partners in advancing human potential through technology, CRE has proven to global investors that Africans should be partners in allocating capital to the most promising companies. My people, African VC has officially arrived! It also proves that CRE, and several existing investors who reinvested in this round, deeply believe that Andela is going to be successful at powering global tech teams by investing in local tech talent here in Africa.
Second, and more importantly, it means that our developers are delivering value, day after day. From their experiences building world-class tech products for our partner companies, they are preparing to elevate technology products built in Africa. While doing this, they are already contributing locally, through initiatives like TeenCode, which supports schools in preparing teenagers for tech-enabled futures. Our developers are the heart and soul of our organization, and they are the future of our continent. We’ve always believed in them; we’re glad the world increasingly does so too.
With this investment, Andela will continue to invest in talent, operating out of our hi-tech offices across Africa. We will keep (aggressively) pursuing our dreams and aspirations of Africa as an equal partner in the digital revolution by working alongside more global tech partners. We will keep playing an active role in supporting and galvanizing tech communities across Africa through our Distributed Learning Community. And lastly, we hope our story will inspire other Andelas to emerge and empower Africa’s future leaders, builders and visionaries.
We’re ready for tomorrow.