Nigerian talent recruitment startup, TalentQL, has today announced its entry into the Techstars Toronto accelerator.
It will be joining the likes of Plentywaka and eight other startups in the class of 2021 and will be receiving $120k in funding from Techstars.
Africa's developer talent space has been growing steadily in recent years, but available data shows that there's room for more growth. According to a Google - IFC report, Africa has roughly 700,000 developers, compared to 2.1 million in Latin America or over 628,000 in California alone.
The prevalence of junior developers in Africa points to how nascent the developer space is.
TalentQL was founded by Adewale Yusuf, Opeyemi Awoyemi, and Akintunde Sultan in November 2020, with a mission to provide opportunities for local talents across the globe.
According to Adewale Yusuf, CEO of TalentQL, the company will leverage Techstars' backing to narrow more on getting global opportunities for African talents and drive its expansion plans in Africa.
"On April 1, 2021, we'll be opening our office in Kenya, and kickstart operations there. Maybe in the next quarter, we'll activate markets like South Africa or Egypt."
Yusuf points out that TalentQL's plan is to go where the talents are, and since remote work has become a thing, it's much easier to scale and expand.
"We don't need to have a physical office, just the right resources. We want culture, and we want people in the markets that understand the culture. We don't want to go there as Nigerians, so we plan to activate each country one step at a time," he explains.
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The startup is looking for the best of African talents across the globe with a focus on senior talents and in key areas like machine learning.
Sunil Sharma, Managing Director of Techstars Toronto explains that TalentQL's vision is very timely and important in the era of remote work. For him, the calibre of the founders made backing the startup a no-brainer.
"I've been reading tech stories from Africa, and all-around doing a lot of research on the market. I've known Adewale Yusuf and I've been impressed with the huge work he's done as an entrepreneur,' he says. '
Recall that TalentQL raised $300k pre-seed led by Zedcrest Capital in 2020, and for Yusuf, accepting $120k after such a huge pre-seed round is all about growth, and leveraging the huge network of founders and investors that Techstars boasts of.