Giant telecom operator Orange invests in Gebeya, Ethiopian EdTech, and MarketPlace Company. Orange made this investment through its dedicated investment initiative, Orange Digital Ventures Africa, which was created in 2017.
Founded in 2016, Gebeya is Ethiopia based Pan-African Edtech startup, which has been providing training to African youth to develop technological skills. Aiming to solve the Tech skill-shortage of African youth, Gebeya is working on producing software engineers and connects them with employers globally.
According to the press release of Orange, 600 talented youth had graduated from Gebya. And 45 percent of the graduates had been connected to employers through Gebeya.
Orange is a French international telecommunications corporation, which has more than 268 million customers worldwide. As of 2018, the company had sales of 41 billion euros and employed 148,000 worldwide. The company, formerly known as France Telecom, had a management contract with the Ethiopian government and managed Ethio Telecom from 2010 to 2013.
Orange Digital Ventures (ODV) is an international early-stage technology investment fund worth €125 million. And It invests in innovative start-ups in connectivity, networks, SaaS for companies (cloud, AI, big data, cybersecurity, etc.), FinTech, and the Internet of Things. Supported by the Orange group, the fund offers “smart money” by helping to create synergies with various business units and its 263 million customers in 29 countries.
With the investment of the Paris based company, Gebeya will be provided with exposure to commercial partnerships with African Subsidiaries of Orange. Additionally, Orange will support the expansion of Gebeya to French-speaking African countries.
“This investment will support the implementation of several vital changes a decisive time for the start-up. It will allow the start-up to gear up for future growth and implement its vision to Empower Africa through Technology, ” said the co-founder and CEO of Gebeya on the press release.
Marieme Diop from Orange Digital Ventures Africa, also said, “With more than 60 percent of VC-backed tech startups in Africa created in the last five years, our ecosystem is growing very fast, and investments are booming, yet the talent gap remains wider. Skills shortage is a critical barrier to startups successfully exploiting the power of new technologies.” She added, ” At ODV Africa, we are happy to support the hardworking Gebeya team and strongly believe in their ability to build the appropriate and sustainable pipeline of really talented African engineers to meet future skills needs on a global scale.”
Earlier this year, Gebeya secured support from International Finance Corporation to provide free scholarships to aspiring female software engineers. And it plans to train 250 female software engineers in 2020.