Semicolon Africa, an EdTech startup that creates employment and economic opportunities by training software engineers and techpreneurs, has raised $1.2 million in its seed funding round from angel investors and venture capital firms like Launch Africa Ventures and Consonance Investment Managers.
The Lagos-based startup plans to use the new funding to increase its training, talent management, and project delivery capacity.
Founded in 2019 by Sam Immanuel, Semicolon is focused on preparing young people and companies in Africa for the digital economy by providing the requisite technology skills for Africa’s growing tech industry.
Semicolon Africa is on a mission to develop a generation of software engineering talent that will solve problems and create economic opportunities by addressing tech-skill gaps, nurturing talent, fostering innovation, and building a thriving tech ecosystem. The startup provides a one-year intensive training program that focuses on software engineering, problem-solving, and business management skills. Once the training program is completed, the students have the choice of either securing employment with hiring partners or becoming techpreneurs if they have the ideas to turn into businesses.
According to Sam Immanuel, "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 Africa currently provides the critical support, including early business support, product development, advisory, and training, needed for techpreneurs to develop their startup ideas into blustering businesses. The company also serves as a strategic partner to companies seeking a digital transformation of their operations. Some of its services include corporate training, project delivery, and project outsourcing, which are carried out through Semicolon Labs.
Since its inception, Semicolon has onboarded nine cohorts and graduated four cohorts of software engineers. It operates a corporate innovation model that enables companies to engage early with startups or have teamwork or business challenges of interest without significant upfront costs. The startup partners with corporate organizations and achieves this through research, product development, and project implementation, focusing on developing innovative product solutions for corporate partners.
Unemployment is a huge problem in Africa. With the new funding, Semicolon believes it will help reduce the numbers significantly.
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.