africa | December 5, 2017

Shortlist acquires Spire to boost talent development in East Africa

The team at


About half of new graduates from Kenyan universities are not prepared for the workforce, according to a 2014 study, while fast-growing Kenyan startups struggle to find adequate talent.

Shortlist, a recruitment platform for small and growing firms in India and Africa, has acquired Nairobi-based Spire Education, which builds employee training programs for East African employers.

The merger will enable Spire to deliver training and development curriculum directly to Shortlist jobseekers (over 50,000 candidates throughout East Africa).

Shortlist, co-founded by Accion Venture Lab founder Paul Breloff, raised $1 million from venture capitalists and Indian and U.S. angel investors in September.

“Mergers between startups in this ecosystem are quite rare,” Lauren Cochran of the Blue Haven Initiative, an investor in both companies, told ImpactAlpha.

“This acquisition shows how outcomes can be maximized when two companies with complementary services can come together.”