Orange Digital Ventures Africa, Orange’s venture arm, announces its latest investment as it leads pre-series A round financing of an Ethiopian startup, Gebeya (“marketplace” in Amharic).
Headquartered in Ethiopia, Gebeya is a new age EdTech company solving the Global Tech Talent shortage by producing top talented African Software Engineers and matching them with clients across Africa and the globe to develop innovative technology solutions, improve development efficiency as well as scalability, Orange said in a press release.
Orange will expose Gebeya to commercial partnerships with its African subsidiaries (Orange's West African subsidiary, Sonatel is already a client of Gebeya’s) and to other companies, as well as supporting its expansion across French-speaking Africa. Since its inception three years ago, 600 tech talents have graduated from Gebeya, with 45 percent placed for employment thanks to Gebeya’s platform. From e-commerce and telecommunications to finance, Gebeya has built a reputable client base working with global companies driven towards creating sustainable change.
With this investment, alongside Partech Africa and Consonance Capital, Orange declared, it is confirming its commitment to leveraging its key assets to support tech entrepreneurship in Africa through its dedicated investment initiative, Orange Digital Ventures Africa, created in 2017.
Amadou Daffe, Gebeya’s founder and CEO, said, “This investment will support the implementation of several vital changes a decisive time for the start-up. It will allow the start-up to gear up for future growth and implement its vision to Empower Africa through Technology”. The company intends to put in place a reinforced executive team to provide further strategic and operational leadership advancing its future ventures. Furthermore, with the incentive of expanding to French-speaking Africa, Gebeya will vigorously act on the training of tech talents who will be pivotal in the digital transformation of Africa.
Finally, the company will work on its online talent outsourcing platform, with the ambition to become the hub of talent acquisition and worldwide outsourcing, and make Gebeya a go-to company, providing the best of African tech talent. It will provide substantial transparency for clients choosing the best suited engineers and address rising youth unemployment in Africa.
“With more than 60 per cent of VC-backed tech startups in Africa created in the last five years, our ecosystem is growing very fast and investments are booming, yet the talent gap remains wider. Skills shortage is a critical barrier to startups successfully exploiting the power of new technologies,” said Marieme Diop from Orange Digital Ventures Africa. She went on to add, “At ODV Africa, we are happy to support the hardworking Gebeya team and strongly believe in their ability to build the appropriate and sustainable pipeline of really talented African engineers to meet future skills needs on a global scale.”
Confirming the social significance of this venture, earlier this year Gebeya also received support from the International Finance Corporation to provide free scholarships to aspiring female software engineers. In 2020, the start-up will train 250 aspiring female software engineers thus contributing towards mitigating gender disparity in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Source: Orange Press Release