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.”


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.