African-focused expertise recruitment and outsourcing firm TalentQL right this moment introduced that it has been accepted into Techstars Toronto.
The corporate will be a part of 9 different startups within the accelerator’s class of 2021. This comes two weeks after Nigerian bus-booking platform Plentywaka announced its participation in this system as properly.
TalentQL was launched final November by serial entrepreneurs Adewale Yusuf, Opeyemi Awoyemi and Akintunde Sultan. Earlier than TalentQL, Yusuf co-founded Nigeria-based tech media publication Techpoint Africa; Awoyemi co-founded on-line recruitment web site Jobberman; and Sultan based nonprofit tech accelerator DevCareer.
The corporate has a “expertise pool” builders be a part of earlier than passing by way of completely different assessments. As soon as the engineers go the assessments, they will be a part of the corporate’s “expertise community” to entry alternatives.
The pandemic accelerated the necessity for worldwide firms to hunt cheaper and distant expertise all over the world. TalentQL is hoping to faucet into what it thinks is a gold mine. In response to Yusuf, the corporate, which can be U.S.-based, desires to decentralize entry and democratize alternative for Africa’s high tech abilities.
For many of its native purchasers, TalentQL primarily assists with recruitment. The opposite mannequin entails hiring vetted engineers for worldwide firms, managing them, and offering tax and medical insurance providers.
“We’re coming to the market to assist the expertise with medical insurance, some instruments to work with and a neighborhood to be a part of. These are a few of the choices I believe units us aside from different firms,” Yusuf stated.
However regardless of that, the corporate has confronted the identical problem that has plagued the area — the shortage of senior engineering expertise. When most engineers attain that degree of experience, they have a tendency to go away the nation to the U.S. and Europe for higher alternatives or, higher nonetheless, launch their very own startups. It’s an issue Andela confronted prior to now, ensuing within the layoff of 400 junior builders “as a result of market demand for extra senior engineering expertise.”
Yusuf says that is why the corporate is pursuing a Pan-African and diasporan play (Africans within the U.S. and Europe), hoping to fill within the hole with senior expertise from these locations. And to additional consolidate its Pan-African ambitions, it’s planning to open an workplace in Kenya within the coming months.
Though TalentQL is totally distant, Yusuf says this has to occur to determine the proper of understanding between on-the-ground recruiters and the engineers.
“We would like a scenario the place once we’re recruiting from different nations, our technical recruiters are from these nations. We would like them to have the ability to communicate the language of those engineers and perceive the tradition of their nations,” he stated.
TalentQL at present has over 100 tech abilities accessible with greater than 2,000 builders on its platform. These builders cater to purchasers from the U.S., Europe, Nigeria and Kenya. The CEO says the corporate can be in talks with some Fortune 500 firms to execute placements for his or her African enlargement.
Along with the $300,000 pre-seed secured last year, the 6-month-old firm will obtain a $120,000 funding from Techstars. However in addition to the funding, Techstars’ backing might be essential in two methods, in line with Yusuf. First is the way it operates going ahead in a crowded tech expertise market with the likes of Ethiopia’s Gebeya and Nigeria’s Decagon and Semicolon. The opposite can be serving to the corporate to be a worldwide firm, not simply an African one.
For Sunil Sharma, the managing director of Techstars Toronto and an investor in 5 Nigerian startups, Techstars’ funding in TalentQL offers the accelerator an opportunity to take part within the burgeoning tech expertise area.
“The rise of Nigeria is extra broadly appreciated now by way of know-how sectors like finance, mobility and e-commerce, the place proficient Nigerians usually are not solely bringing innovation and disruption however are doing so quickly and at scale. Equally as intriguing is the chance referring to expertise itself as Nigerians and Africans throughout the continent are contributing extra to supporting tech firms the world over, and we expect that is simply the beginning.”