We are pleased to announce that Semicolon Africa has closed a $1.2M Seed round of funding. The round which was oversubscribed had participation from angels and VCs like Launch Africa Ventures and Consonance Investment Managers. We are excited to welcome these amazing people on board.
The Growth Plan
If you are wondering what this means to you; the Villagers, our Natives, and the entire Village, then read on. Seeking to grow the economic potential of Nigeria’s youth population, the Seed funding will go towards increasing our talent database, improving our infrastructure, and expanding to more cities across Africa.
In 2020, Google and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in a joint report disclosed that there are only 690,000 professional developers in Africa and that the top training pathways were being self-taught and through university programs. This figure represents 0.2% of the 1.3 billion people in the continent. The report reinforces the need to grow more tech talent to strengthen the ecosystem that is capable of changing the course of Africa’s history.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation also reported that about 16 million young Africans, around 13.4% of the total labor force of 15–24 year-olds are facing unemployment as well as a widening mismatch between education and employers’ needs. Still the same year, the Center for Global Development also reported statistics that Nigeria is “Africa’s biggest technology market; accounting for about 23% of internet users in Africa and with 122 million people online as of December 2018. So, the opportunities still abound and it is, therefore, no exaggeration to say that we are just getting started. We know that unemployment, generally, on our continent is far from solved, but with the infusion of this capital, we believe that the number can reduce.
Reiterating Semicolon’s Mission
We are a social enterprise, on a journey to transform individuals, industries, and communities in Africa. Our mission is to develop a generation of engineering talent that will solve problems faced by Africa and the world, by spurring them towards solving problems with a focus on talent, technology, and innovation.
Every year, Semicolon takes in tens of young and driven youths; who are usually complete newbies and with diverse backgrounds to begin a one-year software engineering journey. So far, we have trained about 300 talent; with many of them already building innovative solutions in paid employment and as techpreneurs. See some of the ventures we have raised here.
Hearing the stories and dreams of our talent is more than inspiring; particularly because of the training length and our geared efforts towards bridging financial expenses, devices, accommodation, and overall costs. It is, however, increasingly clear that Semicolon is raising impeccable talent who are also translating their knowledge, skills and ideas into solving sustainable local and global economic problems.
Our Thank You
There is the popular saying that, “it takes a village to raise a child”, but here we are together, raising many children. We thank each and everyone for the unwavering support that has helped us to continue to do this. Thank you and welcome aboard our investors who believe as intensely as we do in bridging the digital gap for the African continent and the global economy.
Thank you to the incredible team, who continuously put in the effort to ensure that the set goals are met. Thank you to our amazing partners and those we have worked with in capacities that are too numerous to mention.
Above all, to the talent who continue to represent the Semicolon brand positively where they find themselves, remember that we continue to root for you and that you have a family that is always here for you. We promise that we will continue to bring the opportunities, tools, resources, and people that will help you ideate, start and deliver your innovative solutions to Africa and the world, at large.