EdTech startup, Semicolon Africa, has closed a Seed funding round of $1,200,000 with participation from angels and VCs including Launch Africa Ventures and Consonance Investment Managers.
Leveraging the funds, Semicolon will double up on training company builders who will in turn enhance the African economy, manage more talents and expand its project delivery capacity.
Founded in 2019 by Sam Immanuel, Semicolon is focused on creating employment and economic opportunities by grooming enthusiastic individuals to become software engineers and techpreneurs.
Speaking on the round, the company’s Founder, Sam Immanuel highlighted an important point which stated: “everyone does not need to become a software engineer but everyone needs to learn how to tech-enable their business in any industry because technology is a key enabler to solving Africa’s many challenges.”
Semicolon seeks to develop a generation of software engineering talents who will solve problems and create economic opportunities by addressing tech-skill gaps, nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and building a thriving tech ecosystem.
“We are problem solvers, technologists and optimists of a better future for Africa. We bring this to life by identifying talented minds, guiding them through innovative training, deploying them effectively and collaborating with others to build sustainable solutions for society.”
The enterprise offers a one-year intensive training program that is focused on problem-solving, software engineering, and business management skills. Upon completion, Natives (as the students are called) have one of two career paths – employment with hiring partners or techpreneurship for those with ideas they want to turn into businesses. Since its inception, Semicolon has onboarded nine cohorts and graduated four cohorts of software engineers.
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 programmes.
This figure represents 0.2% of the 1.3 billion people in the continent. The report reinforces the need to grow more tech talent in order to strengthen the ecosystem that is capable of changing the course of Africa’s history.
Semicolon is bridging this gap, and it is, therefore, no exaggeration to say that it is just getting started. We know that unemployment, as a whole, on our continent is far from solved, but with the infusion of this capital, the startup believes that the numbers can definitely reduce.
Beyond training software engineers and techpreneurs, Semicolon also serves as a strategic partner to companies seeking a digital transformation of their operations. Some of the services they render include corporate training, project delivery, and project outsourcing, which are carried out through Semicolon Labs.
Semicolon Africa hopes to expand to become the largest technology capacity-development hub in Africa’s ecosystem; with plans to empower and deploy thousands of skilled software engineers annually.