Last year, a series of conversations between my manager at ByteDance and I kindled my interest in the idea of building trust and access to Africa’s best and brightest talent. At the time, it was very unclear what this would be. I was working at ByteDance as one of three Africans in the 10,000-person HQ in Beijing building the Africa market entry strategy for its flagship product TikTok. We were looking to hire technology talent to support our efforts remotely, but we struggled with the supply pool fragmentation.
Intrigued, my cofounders Duke (who’s also my brother) & Valentine and I spent the following months working together to understand the market and tailwinds. We found out that many early-stage companies across the world struggle to meet their software engineering need because they have to compete against the big four for the best talent. Increasingly, these companies are going outside their wheelhouse, looking to untapped talent pockets to meet their need. This presented a unique opportunity for us. Africa is currently one of the very few markets in the world where engineering talent supply outstrips demand. Our demographic and lower barriers to entry uniquely position the market as a future hub for the world’s talent.
However, for many companies that do not have the cultural context and established brand name, hiring from the continent is still a technical problem in and of itself. This is where Africave comes in.
Africave builds distributed teams and provides organizations with access to Africa’s elite software engineering talent. We focus our efforts on early-stage companies, mostly in Seed — Series A stages, helping them expand their footprint to where the talent is. Upon a mutual decision to engage, Africave sets up onboarding with employment and confidentiality agreements, end-to-end infra needs, and HR services including direct company payroll and performance management. In addition, Africave provides continuous communication training and local mentorship for its engineers to guarantee engagement success.
Our industry is one that is definitely very competitive, with remarkable players like Andela, Gebeya, Moringa school, etc who have gone ahead of us, laid the foundation for this work and drawn global attention to the talent quality in Africa. This has shown the world what’s possible. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done with scaling the talent ecosystem on the continent. This is very crucial to our growth and the overall progress of not just the tech industry but, I dare say, every other industry.
Our vision is to push Africa beyond trailing the rest of the world, to a haven of influence, innovation, and excellence. “Show up in excellence, even when no one is looking” is a popular company refrain.
Our public beta is up at https://africave.co. We are delighted to have the support of many partners including SAP, our advisers Libby Moore (Oprah Winfrey’s former Chief of Staff), Hemant Ramachandra, Spencer Ton, Elaine Wanderer, Milo Tong, Liia & Sumant Ramachandra, Josh Zoffer, Somto Dimobi, and all early members of our team.
Here’s to growth and learning