NIGERIAAndela, a startup that connects African software engineering talent to global companies, has become the country’s newest startup to attain the unicorn status after raising US$200 million from investors.

The firm, which is based in New York, is now worth US$1.5 billion. In the startup world, a unicorn is a company, mostly in the software or technology sector, valued at more than a billion dollars.

Flutterwave and Opay, two other Nigerian fintech companies, reached that status earlier in 2021, coming behind Interswitch.

Andela’s latest round of fundraising was led by SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese tech investor, with participation from new investor Whale Rock and existing investors including Generation Investment Management, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Spark Capital.

Lydia Jett, founding partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join Andela’s Board of Directors.

Andela helps companies build remote engineering teams by providing them with access to the best software engineers in the world.

Launched in Africa in 2014, the Andela network today represents engineers from more than 80 countries and six continents. Through Andela, thousands of engineers have been placed with leading technology companies including Github, Cloudflare and ViacomCBS.

“Andela has always been the high-quality option for those building remote engineering teams. Now that the world has come to embrace remote work, Andela has become the obvious choice for companies because we can find better talent, faster,” said Jeremy Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Andela.

“If you are a talented engineer, Andela opens up a world of possibilities for you, no matter where you are based.”

With a successful placement rate of 96%, Andela has mastered the ability to evaluate the technical skills and soft skills of engineers to match them to the teams they’ll be most successful in.

With the new capital, the company will invest in developing products to simplify global hiring and make engineers’ lives easier.

In addition, Andela will continue to expand its talent offering beyond software development to include new verticals such as design and data after launching Salesforce development earlier this year.

“Hiring remote technical talent is one of the top challenges that companies face today. We believe Andela will become the preferred talent partner for the world’s best companies as remote and hybrid work arrangements become the norm,” said Lydia Jett, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

“We are delighted to support Jeremy and the Andela team in their mission to connect these companies with brilliant engineers, and in the process, unlock human potential at scale.”

A fully remote organization with more than 300 employees around the world, Andela is hiring top talent across the board, particularly in product, engineering, and growth.

The software developer training and outsourcing company raised US$100 million in a previous funding series led by Generation Investment Management, an investment firm co-founded by former U.S. vice president Al Gore in January 2019.