WeThinkCode, a South African EdTech startup providing programming and coding course, has raised USD 610k funding from E Squared Investments.
According to a statement, the investment will be paid out over three years and will be used towards equipping the building, staff resourcing, and meet the costs towards establishing the new curriculum.
Founded in 2015 by Camille Agon and Arlene Mulder, WeThinkCode provides free programming and coding course which aims to address the scarcity of developers in South Africa. The platform offers two-year full-time programming course, which requires students to complete two internships during the course. WeThinkCode’s course is fully sponsored. The startup has partnered with corporate sponsors to provide financial support for students and allow them to study for free.
Speaking about the company and its future plans, Nyari Samushonga, CEO of WeThinkCode, said,
“We know that South Africa has a vast pool of untapped talent with the aptitude to be trained in technology. At the same time, our youth unemployment is among the highest in the world. Like any successful business, WeThinkCode is evolving and continually improving its operating model and this includes making our programs accessible to more people. Geography plays an important role here as many candidates are unable to access our existing campuses. Hence, our decision to open in Durban, South Africa’s third-biggest metropole.”
The startup plans to launch a new campus in KwaZulu-Natal this year.
Commenting on the funding, Cheryl Jacob, Head of Social Entrepreneurship at E Squared Investments, said.
“As an impact investor whose mandate is to attack poverty and unemployment in South Africa, there are strong synergies between WeThinkCode’s involvement in assisting disadvantaged young people and E Squared’s social entrepreneurship initiative.”
WeThinkCode believes in inclusiveness, and focuses on increasing the number of female software programmers in South Africa. Explaining about this, Samushonga said, “The academy is open for everyone. Specifically, we aim to increase the number of women programmers on our course each year. Our target is for women to exceed 40 percent of our 600-strong student contingent.”
Geographical expansion and the inclusion of more women are not the only targets of WeThinkCode. “Finding candidates with the best aptitudes and attitudes is crucial and we are using a newly-developed approach to identify talent and uncover the required cognitive skills. In addition, we draw on the expertise of leading technologists for the design of our course material. These experts are continually updating the course as technologies change,” added Samushonga.