In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working has become the name of the video game for knowledge employees in the tech industry. Today, a startup that was an early mover on the opportunity of that design is revealing some news to double down on the concept.

Andela, the New york city startup that helps tech business develop remote engineering groups while at the very same time shrinking the digital divide by tapping skill out of hubs in Africa for those teams, is today revealing a huge step up in its efforts. The business is itself going fully remote, and as part of that it’s widening the swimming pool of individuals that it taps to work and train by extending its reach throughout the entire of the African continent, while also closing down its existing physical campuses.

Jeremy Johnson, the co-founder and CEO, said that he thinks that the relocation will extend the skill pool that it can tap to more than 500,000 engineers from the 250,000 that it could reach through its earlier model. To date some 100,000 engineers have applied to and used Andela’s skills training tools(it works in collaboration with a number of other tech business to offer these, consisting of Google, Microsoft and Facebook )and it has linked some 1,000 individuals to task chances.

The news comes on the heels of the company laying off 135 staff members in May, with senior employees taking 10 % -30 % pay-cuts ahead of what the company hinted would be a big modification in its service– the news that’s getting announced today. Andela has actually confirmed that it is not making anymore cuts to its staff with today’s news. (It has around 1,200 staff members globally.)

We’re seeing a big shift today to remote working due to the consistent existence of COVID-19 and the requirement to keep more social distancing in location, and a byproduct of that has actually been individuals actively vacating costly tech centers now that it’s been accepted that remaining in them isn’t a fundamental requirement to do work. At the same time, a lot of companies have either slowed down or frozen hiring of full-time staff members however are continuing to tap individuals for project-based work because their businesses are no less in requirement of skill to run.

Both of those trends are an endorsement of the design that Andela helped to leader with its remote groups concept, and they more pointedly spell chance for business like it that currently have networks in location to talk to those needs.

All the exact same, it’s a major shift for the startup, not least because it’s shutting down its physical schools.

Established in 2014 out of Lagos, Nigeria, and backed by financiers like Generation (Al Gore’s fund), the Omidyar Network, Spark Capital and Chan Zuckerberg Education and valued at $700 million as of its newest financing round in 2015, Andela has for the last 6 years focused on building a network based around the greatest tech centers on the continent, building physical spaces in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, that assisted source, veterinarian and further train skill to enter into remote company groups for some 200 customers, with a big percentage of those in the United States, including Cloudflare, Wellio, ViacomCBS, and Women Who Code.

As Andela started to scale that model, starting with a pilot in Ghana in 2018 and a second in Egypt in 2015, it saw that the more efficient path was to bypass the physical hubs totally for virtual ones.

Indeed, Jeremy Johnson, the CEO who co-founded the business with Christina Sass, stated that its move was not a direct reaction to the pandemic per se, although worldwide events have definitely provided a fillip to the principle.

“What we’ve done historically is build and go campus in each location and in early days that made a lots of sense because that was helpful for training and from an infrastructure perspective it was what we required to do,” he stated in an interview.

“But as we’ve transitioned to focus more on the breadth and depth of talent and variety throughout the continent, we opened satellites in Egypt and Ghana where we didn’t need a campus. It‘s actually worked actually well and some methods seems like it’s opening chances for even greater growth.”

Our own interview was through Zoom, with me in London and Johnson in New Hampshire: Andela’s New York office (where he is normally based) closed for the moment.

“Our head office has technically been the web, but we have actually had a huge existence in New York City,” he said describing its US base. He included that the growth in Africa using the satellite/remote idea is the limit to how it apply the remote principle, with the concern of what will happen in the future to even its United States offices still not totally responded to.

“We revealed a few weeks ago we are going to be a remote-first company in general moving forward,” he said. “It lets you believe in a different way about where to live and more. I do not understand what it suggests longer term but for now we are all living on Zoom.”

While Andela is undoubtedly expanding its talent pool with this relocation, and possibly providing a big increase to providing more job chances for innovation talent on the continent, the intriguing next step for everybody will be to see how that gets in touch with the other side of the marketplace– that is, the big tech companies themselves and how much they require to and are willing to buy growing their own workforces. That is not a minor problem, thinking about the millions that have actually been laid off up until now in the last couple of months.

Andela, Johnson said, has no strategies to raise more capital at the moment with money in the bank and profits continuing to be available in. Last year, it validated that it was on a yearly profits run rate of $50 million, but it’s not updating that figure at the minute.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.