Nigerian IT company, Decagon is announcing its $1.5 million seed round and a low-interest student loan financing facility from the Nigerian financial institution, Sterling Bank.
This funding round was led by Kepple Africa and Timon Capital with investments Paul Kokoricha, managing partner of the private equity business of ACA, and Tokyo-based UNITED Inc.
Founded in 2018 by Chika Nwobi (CEO), Decagon aims to address the underrepresentation of black people in tech globally, starting with Nigeria, by training and connecting engineers to work remotely with local and international companies.
The financing is in partnership with the financier, Sterling Bank and Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It allows Decagon to offer a Pay-After-Learning plan that provides the trainees with laptops, accommodation, internet, meal allowance and a stipend. No upfront payment is expected, says the company.
According to TechCrunch, Nwobi said that tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have established engineering offices in Nigeria. Decagon helps companies unable to afford such offices to reach top talent willing to work as remote engineers
The new funding will be used to scale the company’s efforts in edtech, fintech and the future of work. The company will also be looking to deepen gender inclusion by increasing female participation in its cohorts from 25% (its current stats) to 50% in the next three years.
What they are saying
Obinna Ukachukwu, the Divisional Head of Sterling Bank, commenting on the student loan financing said, “We got involved to support alternative education by providing loans for Nigerian students complemented with financial literacy training. Based on the excellent performance of the current portfolio, it made sense to scale our support to Decagon.”