The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the limited liability company created by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, to "advance human potential and promote equality," has announced an investment in a Nigerian startup that recruits and trains software developers in Africa.
In a post on its blog, Andela, a Lagos-based startup that trains software developers who then work remotely for Fortune 500 companies and startups around the world, announced it had closed a $24 millon Series B funding round with a lead investment from Zuckerberg and Chan — CZI's first major investment and the first time it has led a funding round. Andela, which currently employs nearly two hundred engineers in its Nigeria and Kenya offices, will use the funds to expand to a third country by the end of 2016. According to Jeremy Johnson, the company's co-founder and CEO, Andela developers are building products for Google, Facebook, IBM, and dozens of fast-growing venture-backed startups.
GV (formerly Google Ventures), Twitter investor Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, and Learn Capital also participated in the funding round. Zuckerberg and Chan, who signed the Giving Pledge in 2010 and established CZI last December following the birth of their daughter, have pledged to give 99 percent of their Facebook shares — valued at more than $45 billion — to the company.
"The gap between talent and opportunity is among the greatest in Africa," Zuckerberg wrote in a CZI Facebook post. "Six out of every ten Africans are under the age of 35 — and in some places, more than half of them are out of work....Andela is working to unlock that potential by finding and training top tech talent in Africa."