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Andela Raises $40m to Connect Africa’s Engineering Talent into Global Technology Ecosystem

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Seni Sulyman of Andela with, Pule Taukobong and and Pardon Makumbe of CRE, with Andela team members

Andela, the company that builds high-performing engineering teams with Africa’s most talented software developers, has announced that the company has secured $40M in Series C funding.

 

The investment was led by Pan-African venture firm CRE Venture Capital with participation from DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and Africa-focused TLcom Capital.

 

Existing investors including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, and Spark Capital also participated. The round, which marks one of the largest investments ever led by an African venture firm into an Africa-based company, brings Andela’s total venture funding to just over $80M.

 

Andela was launched in 2014 to combat the global technical talent shortage by investing in Africa’s most talented software developers.

 

With an estimated 1.3M software jobs unfilled in 2016 in the U.S. alone, it’s clear that the growth of today’s major technology ecosystems is inhibited by a severe lack of talent.

 

To solve this, Andela invests in high potential pools of brainpower across the African continent to help more than 100 partner companies build distributed engineering teams.

 

These partners range from industry leaders like Viacom and Mastercard Labs to high-growth technology companies such as Gusto and GitHub.

 

With offices in Lagos, Nigeria, Nairobi, Kenya, and Kampala, Uganda, Andela has hired 500 developers to date — the top 0.7% of more than 70,000 applicants from across the continent.

 

Selected developers spend six months in a rigorous onboarding program before being matched with one of Andela’s partner companies as full-time engineering team members.

 

Beyond recruiting elite development talent, Andela is catalyzing the growth of tech ecosystems across the continent by open-sourcing its content and partnering with organizations including Google, Pluralsight and Udacity to provide resources and mentorship to developers.

 

“Andela is investing in our continent’s future technology leaders, who are already playing a much-needed role in solving both African and global problems,” said Seni Sulyman, Country Director of Andela Nigeria.

 

“With each new partnership, we are simultaneously proving to the global tech industry that brilliance is evenly distributed irrespective of gender, culture or nationality. As we unleash an entire generation of technologists, we will secure Africa’s role as an equal partner working alongside the rest of the world to advance human potential.”

 

Pule Taukobong, Founding Partner of CRE Venture Capital, addsed: “At present, there is more capital to fund ideas globally than there are people to build them. Andela is providing a solution to this global talent dilemma while building a business case for one of Africa’s greatest assets: our people.”

 

Andela will use the capital to fuel its aggressive expansion plans: The company aims to launch offices in two additional African countries over the next year, doubling its developer base from 500 to 1,000.

 

Alongside this round, Pule Taukobong of CRE, Julia Gillard, former Australian Prime Minister and Amplo Board Partner, and Omobola Johnson, Senior Partner at TLcom and former Minister of Communication Technology in Nigeria, will be joining Andela’s board.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Holla Taxi Allows Payment with USSD Code, Other Exciting Offers

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Holla App available on Google PlayStore

By peter oluka

Ease of payment is one of the reasons some Nigerians shun e-payment related platforms. Now, with the rise of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), payment has become even easier and on-the-go. That’s why, Holla Taxi, the new cab booking app, has delved into this space with a promise to allow USSD payments.

Holla Taxi, an on-demand hailing company uses it apps to connect riders with local cabs and private drivers in Nigeria, has made big intents for the market with a whole lot of ‘partner’ activation.

Holla Cab Services Limited is an Information Technology and Consultancy Firm that is fully mobilized and firmly positioned to provide up-to-date Information Technology Solution(s), Infrastructure and Financial Consultancy Services.

Holla Taxi is a fully indigenous company, with core competence in developing, implementing and supporting technology solutions.

Experience

The depth of professional experiences within the Group today spans in excess of 85 cognate years in the Sales, Management, Development and Support of IT solutions to diverse market segments of the Nigerian Economy.

Holla is relying on the experienced staff, with state of the art infrastructure, to deliver solutions of international standards and operational efficiency, starting with Lagos.

Strategic Partners

Holla prides itself as ‘Your Lifestyle Partners’. In keeping with the appreciation for quality and standards, and her genuine concern for the customers’ investments, Holla has established strategic alliances/partnership with leading industry solution providers of International repute to deliver best-of-breed and reliable solutions and services to the immediate market.

This derives from the appreciation for appropriate technology as a transparent driver for business processes with a view to delivering measurable benefits for the customer.

Hence the company’s Strategic Alliance Program – collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology owners.

Holla Lifestyle:

Digital Banking|Fintech:

Holla Digital pay has FinTech plugins and Agency Banking Platforms.

Holla Cards:

The cards options allow customers to pick from the range of Visa, MasterCard, Verve or UnionPay. Thus, Holla Payment platform accepts Visa, MasterCard, Verve, UnionPay.

Holla Mobile POS:

Holla Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) will be available in all its cabs for ease of payments. This will be configured to work with the drivers phone.

Mobile Cash:

Holla Mobile cash is also another payment platform integrated in Holla Lifestyle. You can withdraw cash from any ATM without your ATM Card. Isn’t that cool!

Holla Mobile Order: Holla mobile order happens via mobile phone.

Holla PayCode:

Holla PayCode enables you take cash from any ATM without a card.

Holla USSD Payment Platform:

The digital platform will also receive and send money using the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).

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Expert Urges National Assembly to Pass ‘Digital Rights’ Bill

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'Boye Adegoke, the program manager at Paradigm Initiative

By peter oluka

A digital rights advocate, ‘Boye Adegoke has called on the National Assembly to expedite actions on the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill that has been before the House of Representatives since 2016.

The bill has been moving clawing its way through legislative process since then and is now up for third reading.

Mr Adegoke, the program manager at Paradigm Initiative, made this call during a radio interview on the Saturday Morning Show with Adaora Okoli on Nigeria Info in Port Harcourt.

“The Digital Rights and Freedom Bill was drafted to protect the rights of Nigerians online and there is no better time to pass the bill than now to ensure that Nigerians are adequately protected by the law when making use of digital tools. The bill protects the rights of everyone who is online. In fact, those in power today might soon find themselves in need of the protections provided by the proposed law when they are out of power,” Adegoke said.

“Section 12 of the bill makes provision for data protection and ensures that those collecting citizens’ data are held accountable. While Nigeria currently lacks a data protection law, not less than six government agencies collect citizens’ biometric data. This is clearly not acceptable as citizens. Also, Nigerian citizens will have a right to know how data collected about them online will be used by organizations,” he added.

Adeboye also pointed out that the recent outcry on hate speech could be solved by the template provided by Section 15 of the Bill.

Adeboye called on citizens to reach out to their representatives at the House of Representatives “to ensure the bill is passed into law, and digital rights become protected rights”

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Data Centre Services Boom as Internet Servers Head Home

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The business of hosting of internet servers is witnessing a boost as organizations in the country have in recent times started relocating their servers from abroad.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that relocation of website servers by private organizations to Nigeria data centres has recorded some 15 percent increase over the past one year citing better understanding of connectivity, presence of international content players in Nigeria among others.

 

Reacting to the development, Muhammed Rudman, managing director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), said the movement can be seen with the increase of business activities of Data centre operators as well as the springing up of new commercial Data centre operators who encourage their customers to host with them by charging on local currency.

 

“Big Data centre operators’ charges are based on dollars which means you are expected to pay the equivalent in naira, but, these new Data centre operators charge in naira without clause of reviewing with change in foreign exchange rate,” he added.

 

Rudman also attributed the increase in website server relocation as well as domiciling it locally to understanding of connectivity by organization. “This means that if an organization’s server is located in the country it allows for faster service.”

 

He commended the efforts of office of local content under National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which have resulted in relocation of Federal government ministries and agencies to Galaxy Backbone. This, he said helps to keep local traffic local.

 

Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a Data Centre operator, agreed that their business has experienced an upsurge in the past one year, which according to him could be attributed to increase hosting activities in Nigeria by international internet content providers.

 

“Google has increased its hosting business in the country and another big international content provider will go live next month. Organizations doing business with them will have no option than to peer with them here,” he said.

 

He however lamented the concentration of hosting services in Lagos and urged for spreading of the service to other geographical locations of the country.

 

“The closer the content is to the user, the better the user experience and more efficient service delivery. It is against this back drop that we at Medallion is extending this infrastructure to other geo-political locations of the country to offer organizations in those areas better user experience,” he added.

 

Engr. Sam Adeleke, chief executive officer of Steineng Nigeria Ltd urged Data centre operators to consider multiplicity of location of server.

 

“Multiplicity of location of server is where most of the hosting companies abroad provider multiple location in case there is disaster in one location they will move to another location without their customers suffering downtime.

 

He added that continuity of business in Nigeria is not certain because of harsh business environment.

 

” Suggesting Galaxy backbone as the only alternative is risky because in as much as it is owned by government there is no guarantee that it will not collapse one day, as government is not good business man,” he said.

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