Andela's acquisition of Qualified and its evolution since 2014

Andela has acquired Qualified, a technical skills assessment platform, for an undisclosed figure. We examine this acquisition and the company's acquisition.

Andela's acquisition of Qualified and its evolution since 2014
Early days at Andela with founder and CEO Jeremy Johnson (2R) and the founding team

After Andela attained unicorn status following the close of a $200 million Series E led by Softbank in 2021, Jeremy Johnson, founder and CEO of Andela said that it is going to embark on mergers and acquisitions.

Today, the company, a pioneer of early software developer growth in Africa—now a “​​global network for remote technical talent” disclosed that it has acquired Qualified, a leading technical skills assessment platform to identify, qualify, and certify top engineers. This will further improve the company's successful placement rate which was at 96% in 2021.

"With the Qualified acquisition, Andela expands and accelerates our ability to source and expertly assess talent," Jeremy said in a statement shared with "Labour marketplaces are constrained by inefficiencies between supply, demand and quality —Qualified allows us to address those inefficiencies by providing the certified right talent at the right time. Companies will continue to trust that talent sourced through Andela has the needed skills regardless of where they live and work."

Andela's global talent community will also expand with the addition of more than 3.6 million engineering users via Codewars, an online community that enables technical talent to compete and improve their practical coding skills in gamified challenges. Codewars is powered by Qualified.

"The tech industry has historically relied on hiring practices that have proven to be ineffective. The expanded platform will allow companies to create hiring processes for software engineers that are predictive of their on-the-job performance. In addition, we provide companies and our growing tech community with a bigger, broader, and better opportunity to connect globally," Jake Hoffner, the Co-founder and CEO of Qualified, added.

Andela's evolution

In the last four years, Andela has embarked on some shifts in its strategy leading to where it is at the moment. In 2020, the company laid off about 135 employees in May, then it closed its offices worldwide to adopt fully remote operations. Within the same period, Andela said it will receive applications from developers from everywhere in Africa rather than just in the six countries—Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana and Egypt—where it had previously operated in.

Recall that, in 2014 when Andela was launched in Lagos by Jeremy and Iyin Aboyeji, its focus was on training local entry-level developers to be globally competitive, then placing them on four-year contracts and earning revenue by outsourcing their skills to clients within the period of the contract.

However, the company took off the cost of training and employing and has since focused on earning revenue when it secures placement for a developer that is affiliated with the platform. Other African edtech startups like Nigeria's Alt School and Decagon, Ethiopia-based Gebeya and Kenya's Moringa School took over Andela's initial business—software developers training, when the company pivoted to focus on talent placement.

After recording 500% growth in applications following its pan-African coverage, Andela took a leap to go beyond its African roots. In 2021, the company disclosed that it will cover engineering talents from Latin and South America, and Eastern Europe was later added to the list. At the time, Jeremy said, "this expansion will bring even more global visibility for Africa and African talent."

Andela now accepts developers from over 80 countries across the world. As of 2021, 80% of Andela contractors are at global companies like GitHub, Cloudflare, Coursera, and ViacomCBS, according to Jeremy.

Since its launch, Andela has raised at least $381 million, as at its last disclosed funding, a Series E, the company was valued at $1.5 billion.

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