Andela Raises $200M to Help Employers Find Tech Talent Around the World
Tech recruitment startup Andela has hit a $1.5 billion valuation this week thanks to a fresh $200 million investment led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The round also saw participation from previous backers including Spark Capital, Generation Investment Management and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which made its investing debut five years ago when it led Andela’s $24 million Series B.
And boy has the company changed since then. Back in 2016, Andela was best known for its six-month-long training program for African software developers, which culminated in applicants landing remote, full-time tech positions at American companies. Today, the startup works as more of a recruiting platform, matching U.S. companies with tech workers based in more than 80 countries across Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and other international markets.
Essentially, Andela pairs candidates in its network with jobs posted by member employers worldwide, using artificial intelligence to analyze applicants’ technical skills, experience and workplace compatibility. Employers then pay the company for successful placements, as well as additional services like labor-law guidance.
Since its launch in 2014, Andela says it has placed thousands of engineers into full-time, remote jobs at some of the most prominent tech companies. It also claims to have a success rate of 96 percent, meaning its new hires stay with a given employer for at least a year and a half.
Of course, this latest funding is coming at a time when remote work is at the top of nearly every company’s mind. More than a year into the pandemic, the need for remote employees has continued to shape how companies around the world recruit talent, with many tech leaders taking a more global approach.
“Andela has always been the high-quality option for those building remote engineering teams. Now that the world has come to embrace remote work, Andela has become the obvious choice for companies because we can find better talent, faster,” co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson said in a statement. “If you are a talented engineer, Andela opens up a world of possibilities for you, no matter where you are based.”
Traditionally, when companies have wanted to recruit engineering talent, they’ve looked in Silicon Valley and international equivalents like China and India. This has begun to change though, as more places develop techie reputations of their own. West African countries like Ghana and Nigeria, for example, are some of the fastest growing tech hubs in the world right now, attracting giants like Twitter and Google. Meanwhile, SoftBank itself has called Latin America “one of the most important economic regions in the world,” and announced this month that it will be launching a second fund focused on the region that amounts to a whopping $3 billion.
“Hiring remote technical talent is one of the top challenges that companies face today. We believe Andela will become the preferred talent partner for the world’s best companies as remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm,” Lydia Jett, a partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in a statement. “We are delighted to support Jeremy and the Andela team in their mission to connect these companies with brilliant engineers, and in the process, unlock human potential at scale.”
Going forward, Andela said in a press release it plans to grow its network of job candidates to span to at least 100 countries by the end of the year, and will use this $200 million to further develop its product, expand its offerings and grow its team. Although it is technically based in NYC, the company says it is a fully remote organization with more than 300 employees around the world. It currently has dozens of open tech positions available across its product, engineering and growth departments.