Software-focused company leverages loan to expand into Africa
Dutch-African tech company Tunga, that helps connect young African talent to meet global demand for software developers, has received government support to fund its growth plan on the continent.
Tunga said it received a €120,000 Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) loan - out of a needed €218,519 total net investment in Africa - to invest in the talent sourcing growth plan.
The balance will be provided by the company, according to founder Ernesto Spruyt, who believes growth is dependent on the simultaneous development of the company’s client and talent bases.
“The two are of course not unrelated: the higher the quality of our talent base, the faster we can grow our client base,” said Spruyt. “Hence, we need to invest to get more developers in our pool, and to develop the skills of those developers and invest in an infrastructure that efficiently identifies, vets, improves and matches those developers with the needs of our clients.”
Tunga qualified for the DGGF loan, to be paid back in two years, as one of the Dutch businesses that 'link aid to trade' because of its mission to combat youth unemployment in parts of Africa.
The business has offices in Amsterdam, Lagos and Kampala and its model adds another layer to the Gig economy boost in parts of Africa where interests in freelance offerings seems to be rising, with the likes of Mobijobs and AnyTask adding a blockchain technology context to it.
With the recent rise in intra-Africa trade promotion, many Africans - especially those who are without work but have requisite skills - may be seeking ways to participate outside of their immediate economies with an equal chance of international exposure and experience.
This is amid pressing challenges including a lack of soft skills, cross-border payment arrangement, reputation and mediation which these evolving platforms want to help surmount.
While the DGGF loan will be used for talent pool community outreach, talent team expansion and platform improvement, Tunga plans to beta launch a new talent testing and on-boarding system which is integrated with their existing platform by July.
Spruyt points out that the system’s automation will go along with investment in online and offline training through an e-learning system specifically designated for its developers.
“The testing and learning are interlinked: it will allow the developers to objectively measure where they stand, and translate that to a learning plan. The learning and testing are both free and publicly accessible for any (aspiring) developer on the African continent.”