An emerging Andela Mafia?


So unless you are living under a rock, you have probably heard about the news of the Andela $200m raise led by Softbank, and its entry into the Unicorn Club!

As many of you know Andela holds a special place in my story and is a big part of my current trajectory as an African Venture Capitalist.

I began my angel investing career in 2013 and Fora, which later transitioned in to Andela (a story for my unpublished book” Investing in the Dark, A Decade of Backing Afropreneurs“), was my fourth investment, and I was one of the earliest checks in.

It is of course now the second unicorn in my portfolio, after Flutterwave, earlier this year.

My experience helping the Fora (and later Andela ) team navigate the early years formed a big part of why I chose to become a full time angel investor , and later establish one of the continent’s most active local VC firms, LoftyInc Capital.

Idris Bello with Jeremy Johnson of Andela

As Jeremy Johnson, Andela CEO/CoFounder said when he became an LP in our latest Fund ;

” Long before Andela was an obvious success story, Idris stepped in to back us. Bringing both capital and, just as importantly, local context and knowledge, he helped us navigate those challenging early years, and I’m proud to be able to back him and the LoftyInc team in return.”

Jeremy Johnson, Andela CEO

A lot will be written about the latest massive raise and what it means for the developer ecosystem in Africa and other emerging markets, as well as the inspiration it brings to founders on the continent. In future years, I also plan to write on the Andela story from the vantage point of an investor, seeing excellence and world class culture being built one day at a time.

But I find it important to quote this excerpt from Jeremy’s announcement;

“We started Andela in 2014 because we believe that brilliance is evenly distributed, but artificially constrained by borders, real and imagined. We are doing more to reduce those barriers today than ever before. By the end of this year, we will have engineers from more than 100 countries working with some of the best companies in the world — and on average, earning 64% more than they did in their previous job. By the end of next year, it will feel normal that the best engineer on your team is from somewhere you haven’t been to.

In the future, global hiring will be the default position. It will be faster, easier, and more effective to hire globally through Andela than it is for companies to hire locally today. As a result, companies will have access to better talent, and talent will have access to more compelling roles – and race, gender, and nationality will become less deterministic of opportunity. “

Now I want to draw attention to an often over-looked aspect of the Andela story. Most of the time, the discussion is focused on how Andela changed the software developer ecosystem and made African developers hotcakes globally.

However, only a few insiders know that at a point, Andela also explored creating an entrepreneur track for Fellows who did not want to continue along the developer track, and rather than lose them, the intent was to help them get started on their own startups via an Andela accelerator and get support from the Andela ecosystem. Obviously for business focus reasons, the plan was later jettisoned.

But given my own accelerator and entrepreneurial backgrounds, it was an idea I loved , and so I remember making a commitment to back as many Andela alumni who became entrepreneurs as I could.

Like Paypal , Like Andela?

But as someone who has seen the ripple effect of the Paypal mafia in the US, and the Uber/Careem mafia in MENAP, I got thinking a few days ago about trying to see if something like that could be made to happen in the next decade.

And to my surprise, I started asking my Andela people (thanks Seni, Nad, Gbenga, Yvonne, and Iyin) to see if they knew any Andela alumni (defined loosely as someone who used to be a Fellow or employee at Andela) who had gone on to either start a tech startup themselves, or play a lead role at one .

Surprise , surprise. We came up with this list of over 50 Andela alumni who have since gone on to found companies or lead a startup.

Welcome to the Andela Mafia!

ANDELA MAFIA

S/NName (s)RolesCompany
1.Nadayar EnegesiCo-Founder/CEOFounding ResidentEdenlife
TalentCity
2.Silm MomohCo-FounderEdenlife
3.Prosper OtemuyiwaCo-FounderEdenlife
4.Firi AdokiFood ProducerEdenlife
5.Collins UnoguFinance ManagerEdenlife
6.Iyin AboyejiCo-Founder
Managing Partner
FlutterwaveFutureAfrica
Moove,
TalentCity
7.Temitope AkinremiCustomer Success ManagerIndicina
8.Ebot TabiCEOVoyance
9.Rita AchebeTechnical Recruiting ManagerTalentQL
10.Jolomi OtumaraCEOPartcloud
11.Johnny FallaChief Growth & Development OfficerWowzi
12.Faith AdekunleDistroBird
13.Bosun OlanrewajuCo-Founder/CTORisevest
14.Oladayo OyeladeCEOEnyata
15.Innocent AmadiCo-Founder/InnovationHera Marketing
16.Oluebube EgbunaCo-Founder/StrategyHera Marketing
17.Olaide AgboolaDropper Africa
18.Chijioke NdubisiFounderremoteafrica.io
19.Ian CarnevaleVolley
20.Olamide DansoBundle Africa
21.Tobi OtokitiSenior Growth Product ManagerFlutterwave
22.Murphy EnahoCo-Founder/CTOPingpong
23.Ayodele OgunlowoCEOTreegar
24.Ugo OkoroCEO/Co-FounderMuster Africa
25. Adeola OkunoyeHead, Service OperationsMuster Africa
26.Joshua Ayo OmomiaCEOAfrica Resource Company,
Cradle Talent
27.Mustapha AbokedeCo-FounderAspire Power Solution
28.Judith OkonkwoFounderImisi3D
29.Moses KihumbaFounder/CEOCarhoot
30.Sean McLintockFounding PartnerNeoKuma Ventures
31.Adam LupuFounderStartwise
32.Michael RosenbergFounder/Customer ExperienceStartwise
33.Matt HeiderCEONautilus Labs
34.Seni SulymanFounderBlack Ops
35.Taiwo Judah-AjayiChief People OfficerMoove
36.Phillip Akinyele(PayFi)
37.Tams SokariSmile Identity
38.Oluwatobi SmithManager, People & CultureSmile Identity
39.Kenny IsicheiCountry ManagerJetstreams Africa
40Babajide DurosholaGeneral ManagerM-Kopa
41Sadiq AdemosuHead of Finance, Nigeria & GhanaM-Kopa
42.Biodun LaaroOperations ManagerStartwise
43.Folayemi AgustoCEO/Co-FounderTixdotAfrica
44.Shalom AyiduCTOTixdotAfrica
45.Obie FernandezFounder & CEO Let The Music Pay
46.Eugene MutaiCTO & Co-FounderGetRaise
47.Kehinde OgundeFounderDoughRequest
48.Modupe Durosinmi-EttiProgram DirectorThe Bulb Africa
49.Daniel AleCTOPrunedge
50.Bodunrin AkinolaHead, PeopleOkra
51.Garba TundeEngineering ManagerOkra
52.Michael IkechiCo-FounderAbel Africa
53.Benjamin DadaFounderCountry ManagerBenjamindada.comStitch
54Chioma Uzo-kaluCOOSparkle
55Deji JaiyeobaVice President SourcingReleaf
56Dahryl J. CobhamsCTOHeroshe
57Bolaji OlajideCEOAnnieMusicBot
58Ifedapo OlarewajuCTO/CoFounderLykDat
59Uzo AwiliCTOQuidax
60Moses KihumbaCEO and FounderCarhoot 
61Collins MbulakyaloCOO and FounderWaape
62Eugene MutaiCTO and FounderRaise
63Njunge NjengaTechnical LeadLipaLater

This Is Andela #TIA

N.B: Let me know in the comments if I missed someone or got some wrong.

About Idris Ayodeji Bello

Afropreneur & Partner, LoftyInc Ltd (Operators of the Wennovation Hub) Leading expert in deploying technology and innovation to drive public sector reforms and enabling good governance. Passionate about bringing about positive change in Africa through innovation and entrepreneurship!
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5 Responses to An emerging Andela Mafia?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ifedapo Olarewaju, CTO and Cofounder at Lykdat
    Uzo Awili, CTO at Quidax

    Like

  2. Efuet Atem says:

    Thanks, Idris, great work you are doing. Entrepreneurship and good governance is the way forward!

    Like

  3. Amazing…Makes me wonder how many top global engineering universities could beat this track record for new tech companies established over the same time? How many charitable foundations? How many government-funded development institutions? Shows the power of entrepreneurship and small private investments.

    Like

  4. John Emore says:

    Excellent and very inspiring. We should get together and explore opportunities

    Like

  5. Hassan Saberedowo says:

    Wao! write up.
    Quite exhaustive, motivating and promising. I can imagine the possible transformations in the next decade.

    Like

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