• 06.16.16

Zuckerberg’s social-minded fund makes its first big bet, leading $24 million investment in education startup Andela

After the birth of their daughter last December, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan announced that they would be devoting billions of dollars to “advancing human potential and promoting equality” through an unusual philanthropic effort that would combine nonprofit and for-profit investments. 

Today they took a first step toward following through on that promise through their foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC, leading a $24 million Series B investment in Andela, a New York-based education startup training Africa’s most talented software developers for jobs at IBM, Microsoft, and other leading technology companies. Google’s venture capital arm also participated in the round. 

Since launching two years ago, Andela has fielded over 40,000 applications and admitted fewer than 300 prospective engineers (its acceptance rate hovers around 0.7%). The company, cofounded by 2U cofounder Jeremy Johnson, currently operates programs in Kenya and Nigeria, with a third location to be announced later this year. 

Read our feature on Andela fellow Faiçal Tchirou to learn more about the education venture’s tuition-free model. 

[Photo: Andela’s Faiçal Tchirou, second from left, works with other fellows and a client. Courtesy of Andela]AH