A Timeline of Events: Andela Axes Dev Salaries for Wages


Andela has had its share of successes and issues over the last couple of months.

The company was started as a startup, and its selling point was that it would train local developers, and use them to solve technology issues in Africa and other markets. That was the model, and a lot of young programmers found the idea attractive.

A Short History

In 2016, Andela received $24 million from Zuckerberg-Chan Initiative. The funds were substantial and helped the company expand, including a station in Kenya.

In the same year, Andela’s Kenya office appointed Wambui Kinya as its Chief Strategy Officer.

The following years were marked by notable fundraisings, including $40 million Series C funding that was led by CRE Venture Capital.

In 2019, Andela received another boost: it netted $100 million in Series D round that was led by Generation Investment. According to Andela, the funds were key to its expansion plan and the acceleration of growth in technology, as well as developing talent and scaling.

A couple of months later, its Kenya office appointed Janet Mwangi as its Country Director.

However, that was perhaps the last round of good news from the technology company that had apparently scaled so fast.

In September 2019, Andela fired more than 400 developers in the continent (Africa). The firm defended the development as a ‘shift in focus’ that would ‘allow us to better align with what the market needs, and in the process better connect brilliance with opportunity at all levels.’

Toward the end of the year, Andela eyed a model that would see it execute its mandate through remote works. It, therefore, launched a new centre in Egypt that promised to fully run remotely.

Following the pandemic, businesses were facing a hard time running their operations. Like the majority of affected companies, Andela sought to restructure its staff: it laid off 10 percent of them, which was 135 employees of its staff across four locations.

“While our customer base has held up better than most, the majority have still been impacted by the economic downturn,” said CEO Johnson Jeremy.

By June 2020, the company had closed its offices and sold its properties.

Turn to Wages

Development from Andela say that the company will no longer be paying salaries to its full-time developers. Instead, they will earn wages in the current and popular gig economy.

Furthermore, it has been revealed that the current batch of engineers can choose to be contractors, or continue to be full-time employees. Contractors will reportedly earn more wages in addition to having flexibility.

The wages imply that employees will only be paid when they are actually working.

Still, Andela is recruiting new talent who can choose to explore extended contracts.

It has also shifted its model from a developer network to a developer marketplace.

These changes, Andela says, will help save costs of operation.

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]