Investments

Kuwait’s Coded raises $1.3 million Pre-Series A to teach Arabs to code

Coded, a Kuwait-based coding academy has raised $1.3 million Pre-Series A, the startup told MENAbytes earlier this week. The round was led by Kuwait’s KISP Ventures, and joined by different other Kuwaiti investors including Sijam Ventures, Sirdab Lab, and Sharq Capital. 500 Startups and Abdullah Al-Zabin, an angel investor also participated in the round. Coded was part of 500’s MENA Dojo’s third cohort that graduated earlier this year. The Kuwaiti startup had raised its first investment in an undisclosed round in March 2017.

Founded in 2015 by Ahmad Marafi and Hashim Behbehani, Coded teaches people to code through their offline bootcamps and recently launched online platform Barmej that features different courses in Arabic. The startup since launching, according to its website, has organized over 20 bootcamps, graduating more than 200 coders.

Coded’s online platform Barmej features both free courses and extensive six-month long online bootcamps (think Udacity’s Nanodegrees) that cost $350 per month. There are currently eight free courses (tracks) available on Barmej that can be accessed by anyone by creating an account on the platform. The courses are divided into different lessons in the form of (Arabic) videos and the users are supposed to take quick MCQ-based tests after they finish a lesson. The platform also has an online community where participants can ask questions and talk to each other, and a leaderboard to show the top-scoring participants from all the courses.

The six-month-long online bootcamps are only available through applications. The users can learn all the details and then apply to register for the course through the platform. It’s not clear how Barmej selects the participants. The bootcamps that are available on the website include Full Stack Web Development, Introduction to Data Science and Android Development.

Coded is also a partner of One Million Arab Coder, a UAE initiative that aims to help one million Arabs learn coding and programming.

The startup according to its website teaches children the basic of coding through a dedicated program called Coded Junior and also serves enterprise clients by offering them cusotmized bootcamps.

Hashim Behbehani, the co-founder and COO of Coded, speaking to MENAbytes, said, “We have recently launched our Barmej Online Bootcamps to give an opportunity for every Arab to learn coding from zero to a professional level that enables them to enter the job market as junior developers. These online bootcamps offer depth, practical learning on projects that are reviewed by our trainers, a flexible learning experience, and support for placement in high-quality jobs. Our plan is to add more Barmej Bootcamps and invest further in creating a top-notch learning experience and placing our graduates in high paying jobs.”

The startup also plans to use a part of investment to expand their offline offerings across MENA. They’ve previously run bootcamps in Saudi and are now looking to expand further.

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Founder at MENAbytes
A tech and startup enthusiast based in Riyadh. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.

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