In announcing the birth of his daughter last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also made an announcement of the creation of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC. Zuckerberg announced he will give $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years to the initiative. The initiative was launched with the goal of advancing human potential and promoting equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy.
The initiative has now announced its first bet with a $24 Million investment in Andela Inc, a startup that trains software developers in Nairobi and Lagos. The funding is part of Andela’s Series B round led by the initiative with others such as GV formerly Google Ventures also involved. Andela has so far trained 200 software developers in the last two years of operations and received over 40,000 applications from interested candidates. The startup hopes to train 100,000 developers over a period of 10 years. Successful candidates receive six months of intensive training before spending two weeks at technology partners and after which the developers sign to those companies to work full time.
Andela will use the funds for expansion into a third African country while at the same time double the number of software developers graduating from the program. The firm which is currently not profitable will be looking to already established partnerships with Google, Microsoft and startups such as 6Sense and the Muse to grow its revenues.
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