Semicolon Africa, an EdTech startup, creating jobs and economic opportunities by training software engineers and techpreneurs, closed a $ 1.2 million funding round. Semicolon focuses on preparing young people and businesses in Africa for the digital economy by providing the technological skills required for the growing tech industry in Africa. The cycle, which was oversubscribed, benefited from the participation of angel investors and venture capitalists such as Launch Africa Ventures and Consonance Investment Managers.
Semicolon Africa was founded in 2019 by Sam Immanuel; a software engineer, passionate about people and economic development. According to him, “not everyone needs to become a software engineer, but everyone should learn to grow their business in any industry” because technology is a key tool in solving the many challenges of the world. ‘Africa.
Semicolon’s mission is to develop a generation of software engineering talent who will solve problems and create economic opportunities by filling technology skills gaps, nurturing talent, encouraging innovation and creating a thriving technology ecosystem. . The company offers an intensive one-year training program focused on problem solving, software engineering and business management skills. In the end, native people (as students are called) have one of two career paths – employment with hiring partners or tech entrepreneurship for those with ideas they want to turn into businesses. Since its inception, Semicolon has integrated nine cohorts and graduated four cohorts of software engineers.
In 2020, Google and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) revealed in a joint report that there were only 690,000 professional developers in Africa and that the best training paths were self-taught and through university programs. This figure represents 0.2% of the continent’s 1.3 billion inhabitants. The report reinforces the need to develop more technological talents in order to strengthen the ecosystem capable of changing the course of African history.
The semicolon bridges that gap, so it’s no exaggeration to say that this is just the beginning. We know that unemployment, as a whole, on our continent is far from being resolved, but with the injection of this capital, the startup believes that the numbers can definitely go down.
The acquired funds will be used by Semicolon to increase its training, its talent management and its capacity to carry out projects. Semicolon currently provides the essential support techpreneurs need to develop their ideas from startups into swashbuckling companies. This encompasses early business support, product development, consulting and training. Therefore, the company also renews its focus on Semicolon Ventures; a branch of the company which has already given birth to 20 new startups of its students. Startups that cover various industries such as finance, health, insurance, transportation, education, construction, tourism, etc. use technology to solve various problems and also create employment opportunities.
Beyond training software engineers and technology entrepreneurs, Semicolon also serves as a strategic partner for companies seeking a digital transformation of their operations. Some of the services they render include in-company training, project delivery, and project outsourcing, which are done through Semicolon Labs.
Semicolon Africa hopes to expand to become the largest center for technological capacity development in the African ecosystem; with plans to empower and deploy thousands of skilled software engineers every year.