Coded Minds expands footprint in US & Canada

Dr. Gina Cherkowski, founder of EdgeMakers STEM Learning Lab, and Omar Farooqui, founder and president of Coded Minds, at the signing ceremony.
Updated 26 November 2019

Coded Minds expands footprint in US & Canada

Coded Minds, a Gulf-based education technology company, has taken a giant stride toward expanding its product as well as geographical footprint by acquiring an EdgeMakers STEM Learning Lab, an innovative education company in the US and Canada. Alarabi Investments out of DIFC will be joined by 8 Roads (Fidelity’s venture arm) and Avalon Ventures out of San Francisco Bay Area. All parties associated with this transaction wanted to keep the overall value of the transaction private for now.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the US and Calgary Alberta, Canada, the acquired company provides cutting-edge STEM/STEAM, innovation and leadership education, professional development and design thinking programs for kids and teachers in Canada, the US and rest of the Americas. As per Crunchbase the shareholders include 8 Roads as well as Avalon Ventures. 

Omar Farooqui, founder and president of Coded Minds, said this is the first time a 100 percent acquisition has been made by a Gulf-based private education company in the US and Canada. “EdgeMakers, an elite 50-member education team, will merge into Coded Minds and become part of its global educational offerings,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company announced the closing of its first round of funding from Alarabi Investments, which has valued Coded Minds at 44 million dirhams ($12 million). It is expected that this transaction will increase the overall value by more than double. 

Farooqui, a Saudi national, announced that following this acquisition, the global best practice and STEM 2.0 curriculum will now be available in all regions where Coded Minds is operating currently. “Coded Minds continues to grow in multiple geographies. This acquisition has given the company an overnight global status and a foothold into the lucrative US and Canadian markets,” he added.

Dr. Gina Cherkowski, founder of EdgeMakers STEM Learning Lab, believes that the merger is an opportunity for the company to contribute in improving the quality of education in different parts of the world. 

“Being part of a global company will provide us an excellent opportunity to be global leaders in 21st century education through our innovative new partnerships in the Middle East, throughout Asia and across the globe brought about through this transaction,” she said. 

Alarabi Investments, which had invested earlier this year in Coded Minds, have seen their investment multiplied. 

CEO Mohammad Alghaith said: “At Alarabi Investments, we aim to create value for our investors through investments that deliver change, value, and impact. And the expansion of Coded Minds into new markets is part of our investment strategy to seek high growth and global reach.” 

Rich Levandov, a partner at Avalon Ventures associated closely with this transaction, said: “Avalon and EdgeMakers are excited to join forces with Coded Minds to extend the mission of EdgeMakers on a worldwide basis.”


KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

Updated 24 September 2020

KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has partnered with the investment platform VentureSouq, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator anchored at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and its partner Tamkeen, to launch the first Conscious Investor Fellowship in the GCC. The pan-regional fellowship is a six-week virtual program dedicated to enabling regional investors in the GCC to create sustainable change through impact investments. The program, which will take place from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25, comes as part of the upcoming annual Angel Rising Symposium, to be held virtually between Nov. 24-25, which provides education and conversations on the future of the angel investment sector and how it can fuel national and regional innovation.

The fellowship aims to empower the next generation of regional mission-driven investors who will fuel emerging ventures using technology for meaningful change, resulting in a measurable positive impact. Twenty-five investors from family offices, corporate and government entities will be welcomed as fellows of this inaugural cohort, where they will learn how to identify and invest into tech-enabled impact-driven startups.

The program will cover conscious investment strategies, startup diligence and valuations, impact measurement, portfolio management, and global sector trends in the impact space. Elective thematic masterclasses will also be offered, with a specific focus on health tech, educational tech, environmental tech, and agricultural tech. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge and invest in live deals through VentureSouq’s Conscious Collective Fund. The inaugural edition is held in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center and Hub71.

Hattan Ahmed, head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, said: “KAUST is driven by a mission to advance research and create new technologies that address our greatest global challenge in food, water, energy, and the environment. We are starting to see more deep tech startups emerging from the ecosystem, disrupting existing industries and creating new solutions to these challenges. The Conscious Investor Fellowship is a key step to advancing this ecosystem and educating regional investors about the potential of emerging technologies and their long-term value. For Saudi Arabia in particular, there is a unique opportunity to nurture this deep tech ecosystem for real economic transformation.”

Ramesh Jagannathan, research professor of engineering, vice provost for entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and managing director of startAD, said: “Conscious investment is a growing global force, accelerated by the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. In the UAE, and specifically Abu Dhabi, we have a unique opportunity to engage with this global trend, given that the emirate has the highest net potential wealth globally.”