Decagon, a Nigerian startup designed to train a new generation of engineers, has announced that they’ve raised $1.5 million in their seed funding round.
According to TechCrunch, Decagon also received a student loan financing facility of $25 million from the Nigerian financial institution, Sterling Bank. The outlet also reports that the financing is in partnership with the financier Sterling Bank and Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This funding will be used to provide opportunities to aspiring software engineers — including by offering a pay-after-learning option — and tech professionals in general.
While it seems like there’s a new Nigerian startup every week that caters to the growing tech sector, the reality is, the supply isn’t keeping up with the demand, for a variety of reasons.
“The dire need for tech talent in Nigeria has become more evident these days, where startups are raising venture capital at a ridiculous pace. Youth unemployment in the country is at a staggering 50%, and while tech has presented an avenue to create jobs, supply isn’t catching up with demand,” reports the outlet.
Part of the issue has to do with resources — specifically, financial ones. While the average cost of schooling to become a tech engineer hovers at about $4,000 USD, that’s out of reach for many residents of Nigeria. And those that can afford the tuition ultimately leave Nigeria for areas abroad in the hopes of securing better-paying jobs.
The Nigerian startup hopes that by providing its student body with merit-based financial aid and scholarships in partnership with the bank, it’ll be able to close the gap between supply and demand.
“Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have all invested in building engineering offices in Nigeria, but most other companies can’t afford to do that, so we help them access top talent to work as remote engineers,” founder Chika Nwobi said to TechCrunch.