Decagon, a tech startup, which combines lending, training, and job placement to help exceptional people launch careers as software engineers has closed a $1.5million seed equity round from early-stage VCs as well as a $25 million student loan financing facility from Sterling Bank.
Operating at the intersection of fintech, edtech, and the future of work, Decagon attracted investment from early-stage investors including Kepple Africa Ventures, Timon Capital, as well as angel investors like Paul Kokoricha, managing partner of the private equity business of Nigeria’s largest PE firm, ACA, and Tokyo-based UNITED Inc. who themselves run a tech training business in Japan.
Chika Nwobi founded the company in 2018 after achieving one of Africa’s first technology IPOs with his first company, MTech, and going on to found or fund over 20 additional startups, including Jobberman, Cheki, and Oya.
Nwobi the founder of decagon further said the company aims to address the under-representation of black people in tech globally starting in Nigeria the most populous black nation, where youth unemployment is about 50 per cent.
He added that Funding for local startups is growing massively but companies now face a shortfall of skilled tech talent as US, Germany, and UK-based companies are also looking for the best talent from all over the world but often need help accessing Africa’s best.
Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have all invested in building engineering offices in Nigeria but most other companies can’t afford to do that, so we help them access top talent to work as remote engineers.”
Meanwhile Decagon created Nigeria’s first-ever merit-based student loans in partnership with Sterling Bank and the Central Bank of Nigeria. And This has enabled Decagon to offer a Pay-After-Learning (PAL) plan which provides trainees with laptops, accommodation, internet, meal allowance, and a sustenance stipend without any upfront payment.