The Academia de Código, a Portuguese startup that provides computer programming traning to the unemployed, has purchased Codeplace’s online coding school, which is currently present in 140 countries with a portfolio of more than 70,000 students.
João Magalhães, CEO of the Academia de Código, tells Portuguese magazine Negócios that the Academia de Código “truly believes in the product of Codeplace” and therefore decided to acquire the company.
“Codeplace is a tool of self-employment for entrepreneurs – or for those who want to work for a startup. It [the aquisition] allows us to position the Academy online, while at the same time create leads for our bootcamps. We also believe that Codeplace has a large ‘hidden value’ for a hybrid model that we intend to exploit in the next few years.”
Codeplace Co-Founder Tiago Martins said that these last years of work had been “an incredible journey” and that “we decided to sell to Academia de Código because they share the same vision of employability, and because they seemed to us the ideal company to scale Codeplace, allowing us to create new projects that have more and more impact.”
Academia de Código was born in 2015. At that time, the unemployment rate in Portugal was high, especially youth unemployment.
Magalhães, Domingos Guimarães, and Rui Ferrão thought it was time to do something to combat this situation.
“We started thinking about a project where we could invite a person to have training in the programming area and then help them get into the job market,” Magalhães told Negócios in 2016 .
“The aim was to get people out of unemployment and get them to work as programmers. We knew that there was a huge lack of business [on the part of the companies], but on the side of people, we didn’t know, and when we launched the first course we had 600 candidates. We realized that there was, on the people side, the talent and the will to change – and have a career in a different area,” Magalhães added.
The value of the deal was not disclosed but, the operation was financed with equity from the Academia de Código.
With the acquisition of Codeplace, the Academia de Código plans to scale its operation and enter the North American market. João Magalhães explains to Negócios that the negotiation for a distribution agreement in the US is in its final stages. This agreement is being made with a local “player with a lot of experience.”
“We think we have distinctive elements that make us competitive in all Academía de Codigo products. The interest of the various partners we are dealing with makes us very confident about that.” says the CEO of Academia de Código.
He also said that the company is “closing distribution agreements in Europe and Latin America through local partners during 2018 and 2019”.