Nigeria startup Andela is now West Africa’s 3rd unicorn

Africa startup connecting the continent’s software engineering talent to global companies has raised a $200 million Serie E investment from Japan tech investor SoftBank Group Corp.

Andela is now valued at $1.5 billion and joins Senegal’s francophone focussed fintech Wave and Nigeria/US fintech Flutterwave as West Africa’s 2021 unicorn. This funding allows for investment in AI software which the company believes will ease the hiring process and make it easier.

In an interview with CNBC Africa, Andela CEO Jeremy Johnson said that five years from now, one will only have to push a button to access the best in talent rather than going to recruit locally. Pandemic freezes left Andela in limbo with the sudden firing freezes but the shift towards remote working made Andela turn towards remote working. Speaking to CNBC, Johnson would also move towards an “office-based environment.”

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In the past year, the company has moved from training talent from 7 countries to more than 80 by announcing its move into South America and Eastern Europe. However, the bulk of the talent pool remains in Africa.

In October 2017, Andela held a successful $40 million Serie C round led by CRE. Back then this was the largest venture round ever by an African VC into an Africa-based business. The investment saw Pule join its board alongside other partners from top global venture funds like Spark Capital and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Other participants into that investment round were Salesforce Ventures, TLcom, DBL, and Amplo.

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