Orange Digital Ventures Africa announces its latest investment as it leads pre-series A round financing of Gebeya (‘marketplace’ in Amharic, Ethiopia’s national language).
In a media statement, Ethiopia-headquartered Gebeya is described as a new age EdTech company and online marketplace focused on producing African software engineers and matching them with clients across Africa and the world.
Since its inception in 2017, 600 tech talents have graduated from Gebeya, with 45% placed for employment.
The investment, alongside Partech Africa and Consonance Capital, represents a commitment by French telecommunications firm Orange to continue to support tech entrepreneurship in Africa via Orange Digital Ventures Africa.
According to the statement, Orange will expose Gebeya to commercial partnerships with its African subsidiaries (its 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.
Amadou Daffe, Gebeya’s founder and chief executive officer 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”.
Looking ahead, Gebeya will focus on its executive team and expansion into the Francophone region.
“The company intends to implement 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,” reads an excerpt from the statement.
Gebeya intends to work on its online talent outsourcing platform with the objective to become the “hub of talent acquisition and worldwide outsourcing.”
Marieme Diop from Orange Digital Ventures Africa added: “With more than 60 percent of VC-backed tech start-ups 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 start-ups successfully exploiting the power of new technologies.”
She went on to add, “At ODV Africa, we are happy to support the hard-working 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).