Andela was launched nearly six years ago from a single-room office in the Yaba area of Lagos with a call to young Nigerian software developers to come and be part of a revolution. The company didn’t have a website at the time, but it had the vision to nurture IT talents in Africa and connect them to some of the world’s leading tech companies.
Founded in 2014 by Jeremy Johnson, Ian Carnevale, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Christina Sass, Andela’s initial direction was to start as a company that matched African developers with North American companies. Since launching, the company has expanded beyond Nigerian to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Egypt. Andela was new hope on the horizon for young developers on the continent.
“Our initial strategy was to identify high-potential talent on the African continent, train them in software development (with a heavy emphasis on remote work and soft skills), and then place them as full-time distributed engineers. We saw an opportunity to build a business while investing in talent creation across Africa, and that’s exactly what we did” said Johnson, Andela’s CEO.
The Evolution of Andela
In 2019, a lot changed about Andela’s direction and operations. It all started in September when the company laid-off 400 developers, shifting from training and finding young talent to finding employment for mid-level and senior developers. Johnson said at the time that the company had more developers than it was capable of finding employment for, adding that the company had misread the demand from the market. This change came as a blow to a lot of junior developers on the continent who were banking on Andela’s initial vision.
Addressing this issue Johnson said, “Andela was born out of the pressing need to solve a simple but pervasive global challenge: Brilliance is evenly distributed, but the opportunity is not. While our mission will never change, our strategy to achieve it has evolved as we’ve grown and learned more about both our market as well as the structural challenges that prevent brilliance and opportunity from connecting.”
To read the rest of this interview and other insightful exclusives like this, click here.
In a world teeming with entrepreneurial spirits, the dream to become a multi-millionaire w…