Saudi tech startups raise over $12.79m in 2017

Nawaf Al-Sahhaf
Updated 23 January 2018

Saudi tech startups raise over $12.79m in 2017

Technology startups incubated by the Badir Program, one of the main initiatives of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), have successfully raised more than SR48 million ($12.79 million) during the year 2017.
This was through 15 funding deals led by supporting venture capital firms, individual investors’ networks and governmental institutions, recording a 64 percent increase in comparison with the previous year.
Funding by venture capital firms amounted to SR34.5 million approximately, which was divided into five startups. Individual investors funded eight companies with SR11.89 million, while funding by the Social Development Bank reached SR1.9 million approximately in the form of loans presented for the benefit of two startups.
As a result of the “Demo Day” event organized by the Badir Program three times a year for the purpose of joining startups with investors, the concluded deals amounted to half of the number of investment funding deals after announcing eight deals amounting to SR12.4 million approximately. Seven deals were concluded outside the competitive enterprises showcase with an overall value of SR35.8 million approximately.
It is likely that the overall size of investment funding of startups will increase after disclosing the results of the third edition of the “Demo Day” event, which was held last month.
“Demo Day” aims at presenting, studying and facilitating the funding of promising investment opportunities among the technology startups incubated by Badir.
Nawaf Al-Sahhaf, CEO of the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, said that several factors have contributed in increasing the size of funding this year, namely the rise in the number of funding and risk investment companies, lending platforms and individual investor networks, which have become increasingly active recently.
“Disclosing the deals of funding startups will result in raising awareness and transparency in relation to the funding environment within the local market, especially with the persistence of the funding gap affecting and hindering the companies in turning from an emerging company to complete commercial businesses capable of attracting investment capitals,” he said.
“We look forward to supporting startups which have the basic factors that enable them to make quantitative changes in the main technology sectors,” Al-Sahhaf added.


YORK’s sustainable cooling solutions in Grand Mosque

Updated 05 August 2020

YORK’s sustainable cooling solutions in Grand Mosque

HVAC company Al-Salem Johnson Controls (YORK), which operates the “Ajyad” and “Al-Shamiya” cooling stations located in Makkah’s Grand Mosque, ensured that pilgrims performing the Hajj rituals this year did so in a cool and pleasant atmosphere inside Al-Haram.
“YORK is proud to serve the guests of Allah in Makkah Al-Mukarramah by accompanying the pilgrims in their Hajj rituals and providing a fresh and cool ambience throughout their Hajj journey, especially in Makkah’s Grand Mosque,” the company said.
According to YORK, the total cooling capacity of the two cooling plants is 159,000 tons (equivalent to the cooling required for 15,000 medium-sized apartments). YORK chillers pump the chilled water to more than 1,000 Saudi-made air handling units (AHUs) located inside the Grand Mosque, which then distribute 100 percent fresh and cool air that reaches every corner of Al-Haram. The chillers’ latest technologies and the AHUs’ highly efficient filtration system help to maintain the required temperature and humidity levels necessary for ensuring a comfortable ambience for the pilgrims.
The cooling capacity is regulated by the number of pilgrims and worshippers inside the Grand Mosque. Thus, owing to the reduced number of pilgrims this year, the total cooling capacity was halved to nearly 80,000 tons (equivalent to the cooling of 8,000 medium-sized apartments), provided through 63 YORK chillers located inside the Ajyad and Al-Shamiyah cooling plants.

LIGHTLIGHT

Owing to the reduced number of pilgrims this year, the total cooling capacity was halved to nearly 80,000 tons, provided through 63 YORK chillers located inside the Ajyad and Al-Shamiyah cooling plants in the Grand Mosque.

The company has designed a highly efficient and smart ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration system for Al-Haram, taking into account the crowded nature of the location as well as the ability of the cooling stations to adapt to the Grand Mosque’s ongoing expansion project.
The Al-Shamiyah plant, which is one of the two world’s largest cooling plants of its kind, contains 24 YORK OM centrifugal chillers. The chillers have been customized and engineered especially to meet the requirements of the Grand Mosque. Its special industrial design helps in long-term operation with high efficiency, while the variable-speed drive (VSD) technology contributes in reducing the annual energy consumption by about 30 percent, in addition to reducing the amount of sound.
These chillers feature “smart control,” which enables the chillers to estimate the rate of congestion inside Al-Haram by calculating the difference between the temperature of the water that is pumped to and from the mosque. Accordingly, the chiller increases or decreases the cooling capacity in proportion to the size of the crowds inside the mosque. The plant offers sustainable cooling solutions as its chillers use a chilled water system with an eco-friendly refrigerant.
In addition to the more than 100 operation and maintenance technicians stationed around the clock inside the Grand Mosque to ensure the efficient operation of the cooling stations and quick handling of any untoward incidents, the company dedicated an additional response team during Hajj to quickly respond to any maintenance requests or emergency situations.