Technology in Africa is real, and it shows. The tech startup, which trains software developers and is the poster child of the burgeoning tech scene in Nigeria, moved into the new five-story state-of-the art offices in January 2017 to cater for an ever-growing team.
Just a few months prior to the move, Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg travelled to Lagos on a pilgrimage to visit Lagos’s key tech companies, including Andela, which received a $24m Series B funding round from a consortium of investors led by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative founded by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.
The endorsement by the social media billionaire was an affirmation not only of Andela’s work but also the whole of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, according to Seni Sulyman, country director at Andela. “People have been talking about tech in Africa, and in Nigeria specifically, for a long time,” he says.
Partech Ventures’ data only includes deals higher than $200,000 and excludes any grant or debt deals, and “megadeals” worth $100m and over. Only three countries accounted for around 80% of Africa’s total funding, with Nigeria securing $109m or 29.8%; South Africa receiving $96m or 26.4%; and Kenya securing $92m or 25.3%.
Mobile internet is the platform of choice in Africa due to its relatively low cost when compared to wireless broadband. The growing uptake in mobile technology has fuelled many of the innovative digital solutions and services emerging from the continent, and, as mobile infrastructure advances and the cost of smart devices falls, tech entrepreneurs are developing uniquely African tech solutions to African problems.
The hive of activity last year alone shows that the tech sector in Africa is in a strong position. However, compared to more developed markets such as Singapore and Silicon Valley, Africa still has some way to go.