Tech Training Startup Andela Gets Series A Funds from Spark Capital

Hiring developers, engineers, and other professionals who are remotely located around the world is an emerging trend among some tech companies, but where can more of these workers be found?

Andela—based in New York and Lagos, Nigeria—offers training to folks in Africa who have an interest in technology careers, but until now have had limited access to such education. On Thursday, the startup announced it raised a Series A funding round led by Spark Capital, which will go towards bringing Andela’s curriculum to more countries in Africa, Europe, and North America. Andela declined to disclose the size of the round.

The company chose Nigeria for its first campus because of the nation’s size and large population, says Andela co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson. More campuses are already opening in other parts of the continent. “We just expanded to Nairobi, Kenya, where we have a new campus and a boot camp underway,” he says.

The companies that hire Andela developers to work from afar are based in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere around the world. This kind of remote job placement has been seen with other services such as PowerToFly, which specializes in helping women around the world get hired for professional work they can do from home.

Johnson says Andela was founded to increase access to opportunity for folks with talent who might otherwise miss out on pursuing tech careers. There is a need to fill nearly two million tech jobs in the U.S., he says. Meanwhile, there is also a need to bring technical education to the developing world, where young people who could compete for such jobs are unemployed or underemployed.

Prior to the Series A round, Andela raised seed funding from backers who include Steve Case, Melo7 Tech Partners, Omidyar Network, Rothenberg Ventures, Founder Collective, and LearnCapital.

As his company grows, Johnson says he hopes to create pathways to economic opportunity for more young people. “Andela aims to train 100,000 software developers in Africa over the next 10 years,” he says.

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