Andela, one of the largest developers of software engineering talent in Africa, has announced that it has laid off approximately 10% of its staff complement. According to Andela, the 135 employees who were laid off are non-software engineering staff.

The company's CEO, Jeremy Johnson, has stated that the layoffs were necessary in order to “safeguard its future,” during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

"This week, we announced that we are laying off 135 Andela employees, or approximately 10% of the company. While I know that nearly every company is being impacted by COVID-19 in some way, it doesn’t make it hurt any less. We took every measure possible to try to avoid this decision, but ultimately it was necessary to secure the future of Andela," wrote Johnson.

A well funded tech startup focussed on Africa

To date, Andela has raised well over $100 million in venture capital funding. The company also counts among its investors the successful tennis player, Serena Williams, who invested in Andela through her venture capital company, Serena Ventures.

This again brings into question whether Andela perhaps overestimated the market demand for software developers given that it is well funded.

More layoffs at Andela

This is not the first time that Andela has announced a large number of layoffs.

Previously, the company laid off hundreds of junior developers as it explained that it was restructuring its business model to focus on developing senior software engineers. This time around, the company has alluded that the effects of COVID-19 on the economy is the reason why it has laid off almost 10% of its employees.

"Many of our customers have been impacted by the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. And while I’ve been blown away by messages from engineering leaders explaining how much they value the Andelans on their teams, it has become clear that we will see attrition from our customer base and lower than expected growth. As a result, we were forced to make the difficult decision to reduce costs and ensure we’re ready for what will likely be a tough year," said Johnson.

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