Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Makes First Major Investment in Andela

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the limited liability company established by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla, made its first major investment in Andela, a firm engage in recruiting and training the most talented software developers in Africa.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative led the $24 million in Series B funding round for Andela. GV formerly known as Google Ventures of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures also participated in the funding round.

Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife established the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in December last year when their daughter, Maxima was born. Their primary objective was to advance human potential and promote equality in different areas including health, education, energy, and scientific research.

The couple decided to donate 99% of their shares in Facebook during their lifetime to help improve the world for the next generation through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Mr. Zuckerberg estimated that the value of his Facebook shares were around $45 billion in December.

Mr. Zuckerberg also signed in the Giving Pledge, which encourages the wealthiest individuals and families around the world to donate majority of their wealth to charity.

Zuckerberg and his wife support innovative models of learning

Andela is one of the most visible technology movements in Africa. It was founders by veteran entrepreneurs from North America and Africa to bridge the gap between skilled software developers and companies that needs them.

The firm recruits the top one percent tech talents in Africa, provides them with training, and finds work for them in high-growth engineering organizations from venture-backed startups like 6Sense and Muse to industry leaders such as Google and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

In a statement, Mr. Zuckerberg said, “We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela’s mission is to close that gap. Companies get access to great developers and developers in Africa get the opportunity to use their skills and support their communities. Priscilla and I believe in supporting innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world — and what Andela is doing is pretty amazing.”

Exponential growth

Andela co-founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson, said organizations all over the world are experiencing difficulty in identifying and hiring technical talent. According to him, his firm is addressing that problem.

Mr. Johnson said, “Based on the caliber of Andela developers and the increasing acceptance of distributed teams, we have seen exponential growth over the past year and expect this pace to continue.”

Andela plans to use the capital to fuel its growth on the African continent. The firm currently has nearly 200 engineers employed by its offices in Kenya and Nigeria. It is planning to expand in another country in the continent by the end of the year.