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As critics mutter brain drain, Andela raises $40million in Series C funding

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Andela raises $40million in Series C financing to aggressively expand, double talent pool

Andela has raised an additional $40 million in a third venture capital funding round, bringing its total capital raise to $80 million. The new investment announced on Tuesday was led by CRE Venture Capital, a South African Venture Capital firm, and backed by DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and TLcom Capital. This financing round is likely the largest done by an African VC firm. Spark Capital and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative were the lead investors in the two previous rounds.

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Andela was the first lead investment for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, established in 2015 to invest a significant portion of their Facebook wealth. This additional funding will help Andela fund aggressive expansion plans, including launching two additional offices in other African countries and doubling its developers from 500 to 1,000.

But as Andela is looking to expand its talent pool, the local tech community has pondered on the impact the Andela model might have on the supply of ready talent to local tech businesses. During the period when Andela staff are contracted to the company, which is about 4 years, they would be unable to work in local businesses. They would also be out of the reach of local firms who won’t be able to afford them.

According to some observers, this guzzling of potentially high-quality local tech talent constitutes a form of brain-drain, as cheaper African talent provides a cost-saving and profit-making alternative for overseas tech firms at the expense of local ones, who desperately need affordable tech talent at the nascent stage of the industry. This, according to them, likely poses as an inhibitive factor for the growth of the industry.

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But on the flip-side, the Andela initiative has also been hailed mostly because of its emphasis on developing local tech talent, and exposing them to the global stage, where they can gain world-class experience. After this, they can contribute to the local economy. Andela says it spends $15,000 on a developer. Each of them receive a salary, albeit small, while on their 6-month training.

They are also fed twice daily, and provided with subsidized housing. After going through the training, they each receive an Apple computer. According to Andela, after their 4-year stay at the company, its engineers are expected to hop onto other initiatives, either at other companies or their own. An Andela accelerator to nurture start-ups founded by its alumni is being mulled. Some of the companies they are currently being outsourced to, have further expressed a desire to retain Andela staff after their time there.

While Andela engineers are reasonably paid, they don’t receive the entire sum of their post-training worth. Andela bills its clients per worker, and passes some of the revenues to the engineer as salary while keeping the remainder to run itself, as well as recruit and train new engineers.

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Companies

Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc reacts to ‘rumoured’ AMCON takeover

AMCON had dragged the company before a Court in a bid to recover the debt.

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Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc

Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc has reacted to media reports about the supposed takeover of its assets by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON.

In a statement that was signed by the Company Secretary, Yetunde Fashesin-Sousa, Deap Capital admitted that it is indebted to AMCON to the tune of N1.6 billion. It was also confirmed that AMCON owns a 20% equity stake in the fund management firm.

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Note that the indebtedness arose after AMCON took over ownership of certain banks. Apparently, these are banks that Deap Capital originally owed. However, following the transfer of the unnamed banks’ assets to AMCON, the debts were also transferred alongside.

Meanwhile, AMCON had dragged the company before the Federal High Court in Lagos in a bid to recover the debt. A ruling on the case, which was delivered on January 28 by the Hon Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, was in AMCON’s favour.

Following the ruling, AMCON began the process of recovering the debt from Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc. The company said it has been cooperating in this regard by working towards repaying the debt.

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The company also clarified that the assets that were taken over by AMCON belonged to its former directors whose names were not mentioned. Nairametrics could not verify if these directors are among those who were recently reinstated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC. But we do know that AMCON had obtained a court order to attach the ‘former directors’ assets’ in its attempt to recover the N1.6 billion debt.

In the meantime, Deap Capital Management & Trust Plc said it is committed to resolving its operational challenges, including the recovery of its operational license and profitability issues.  The company’s latest earnings report (for its Q1 period ended December 31st, 2019) showed a total income of N1 billion. There was also a N6.3 million loss for the period under review.

Deap Capital’s stock opened today’s trading session on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N0.30. Year to date, the stock has declined by some -18%.

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Lafarge Africa Plc. announces its board meeting and closed period for Q2 2020 

The notification which was duly signed by General Counsel & Company Secretary.

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Lafarge Africa

Lafarge Africa Plc. notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public that he closed period will commence on Wednesday, 8th July 2020 until the unaudited financial statement for the second quarter ended 30th June 2020, is released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. 

In a disclosure on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it wrote: “We hereby notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the investing public that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Lafarge Africa Plc has been scheduled to hold on Thursday, 23rd July 2020 to consider the second quarter financial results of the Company for the quarter ended 30th June 2020.”  

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The notification which was duly signed by General Counsel & Company Secretary, Mrs. Adewunmi Alode explained further stating that “Accordingly, no Director, employee, persons discharging managerial responsibility and Advisers of the Company and their connected persons may directly or indirectly deal in the shares of the Company in any manner during the closed period.” 

Over the past few months, it made a few board changes with the retirement of two of its Non-Executive Directors, as well as the appointment of three new DirectorsIt had also spun off its South African subsidiary, Lafarge South Africa Holdings (LSAH), last year. 

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READ MORE: NSE’s statement in reaction to the Visionscape Municipality Bond Default

Lafarge Africa’s Q1 2020 revenue was up 9.8% year-on-year to N63.7 billion, driven by higher Cement Sales (a figure up 11% year-on-year to N62.3 billion) which offset the weakness in Aggregate and Concrete (down 21% y/y to N1.4bn). Its EBITDA grew by 2.4% year-on-year to N19.3 billion as well. As at Tuesday the 7th of July, the share price of the company was N10.00 

 

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AXA Mansard Insurance Plc gives notice of Annual General Meeting 

The AGM will be live-streamed to enable shareholders and stakeholders participate.

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AXA Mansard Insurance Plc

Insurance firm, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc., has given notice of its board of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.  

The announcement which was disclosed by Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in a corporate disclosure on July 7th, 2020 and signed by Company Secretary, Omowunmi Mabel Adewusi read, “Notice is hereby given that the twenty-eighth annual general meeting of AXA Mansard Insurance Plc. will hold at the Oriental Hotel, no. 3, Lekki Road, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.” 

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READ ALSO: AXA Mansard divests from its pension and real estate ventures

As noted, the purpose of the AGM is to transact the following business: 

  1. To receive the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the Reports of the Directors, Auditors and Statutory Audit Committee thereon 
  2. To authorise Directors to fix the remuneration of the Auditors 
  3. To elect Directors and 
  4. To elect members of the Statutory Audit Committee.  

In order to ensure that all relevant stakeholders can be a part of the AGM, the company will also be streaming the AGM live. It noted that “This will enable shareholders and other stakeholders who will not be attending physically to follow the proceedings.” 

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The link for the live streaming of the Meeting will be made available on the Company’s website at www.axamansard.com. 

READ MORE: Sterling Bank’s earnings to remain pressured but valuations still attractive

Recall that a few months ago, in March, the company’s Board of Directors announced the appointment of John Dickson as the company’s new Non-Executive Director. A month earlier, it also disclosed its plan to sell its pension management subsidiary (AXA Mansard Pensions Ltd) and some undisclosed real estate investments. 

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Its unaudited financials for the period Q1 2020 reveal a growth across revenue and profit lines. Gross written premium grew by 21% from N17.4 billion earned in Q1 2019 to N21 billion in Q1 2020. Profit for the year for the group grew by a commendable 120% from N890 million in Q1 2019 to N1.9 billion in Q1 2020. 

As at Tuesday, the 7th of July when markets closed, the share price of the company was N1.59. The company’s EPS stood at 0.33 while its price to book ratio stood at 0.6082. 

 

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