Nigerian IT company Decagon has raised $ 1.5 million in a funding round to support its mission to transform exceptional software engineers, many of whom come from underrepresented backgrounds. He also plans to train them and put them in touch with the jobs and financing of their dreams.
Kepple Africa and Timon Capital led the round, with investments from Paul Kokoricha – ACA Managing Partner – and UNITED Inc, based in Tokyo.
In addition, he raised a $ 25 million student loan financing facility. The financing was made possible through a partnership between the financier, Sterling Bank, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The startup claims to function as an intersection between edtech, fintech and the future of work. She specializes in software and mobile application development, website creation, UX design, and product marketing.
Founded in 2018 by Chika Nwobi (CEO), Decagon trains and connects engineers to work remotely with local and international companies.
By TechCrunch, Nwobi said tech giants like Microsoft, Facebook and Google have established engineering offices in Nigeria. Decagon helps companies that cannot afford such offices to reach top talent who want to work as remote engineers.
The startup runs a six-month, paid software engineering program that costs $ 4,000.
However, if interns cannot afford the program, student loan funding will cover the cost. Students who choose this option are expected to repay approximately $ 6,000 over three years.
This allows the company to offer a Pay-After-Learning plan which includes laptops, housing, internet, meal allowance and stipend. According to the company, no upfront payment is required.
Decagon claims to be the first in Nigeria to offer such merit-based loan financing to students. It also claims to have accepted 440 applicants from a pool of 80,000 applicants for its program.
Nwobi said the company has a 100% placement rate for its interns, a 100% loan repayment rate, and a 410% salary increase paid by its software engineers after placement.
The IT company plans to address the global under-representation of blacks in the tech space, starting with Nigeria. He also wishes to promote the inclusion of women by increasing the participation of women in his cohorts.
The funding will also be used to scale up the company’s efforts in the areas of edtech, fintech and the future of work.
Reacting to Nwobi’s claim that Decagon, a catalyst for tech talent, is sustainable and growing at a rate of 500% per year, Timon Capital Partner, Chris Muscarella, said he was excited to work with Decagon to identify and connect with approved engineering talent in Africa. .