BRCK Raises $3M from Steve Case, TED & Others to connect more people to the Internet

Computing

Rugged, self-powered, mobile WiFi device which connects people and things to the internet in marginalised areas BRCK has raised $3m from Jean and Steve Case with participation from Jim Sorenson, TED, MKS Alternative Investments, Synergy Energy and others to bring connectivity to people in marginalised areas.

BRCK was in September under its BRCK Education division named among the 25 companies shortlisted for the Ksh 17 billion laptop and digitial content project after being on the forefront of promoting digital learning in local schools. BRCK had been tested in various schools across the country.

BRCK was listed Kenyatta University and China’s Guangzhou Institute of Technology as its research and manufacturing partners.

In August BRCK launched BRCK Education to provide hardware and software solutions to enable online and offline learning in Kenya and across Africa.

Speaking at the time to TechMoran,  BRCK Co-founder Juliana Rotich said, “Its not an acqui-hire at this time, eLimu under Marie Githinji and Sam will work with BRCK Inc. in the Education space and will continue to operate and exist on its own.”

In September BRCK Education launched ‘ BRCK – Kio’ and a dust and water resistant BRCK kit to help digitize education in Kenya.

The easy to use, custom-made tablet is designed for use by Standard 1 pupils in harsh environments across rural Kenya where electricity is intermittent. It can be used for 8 hours without power and is rugged enough to allow for occasional drops and spills. The BRCK Kit comes with 40 BRCK tablets making it a whole-class-in-a-box.

The BRCK Kio Kit provides a “digital classroom in a box” model that connects any school within range of a mobile phone tower to the internet, as well as provides locally hosted content to the Kio tablets within each kit.  The Kit is a simple, effective solution which requires minimal training or technical knowledge to setup and use.  There is a single plug used to charge the kit and one button to power on the entire system.

BRCK Education said it would be working with international and local organisations such as Kenyatta University, Pearson, Intel- Education and e-Limu, Know-Zone, e-Kitabu to refine the experience of accessing digital content.

In July 2014, BRCK closed a $1.2 million seed round led by Invested Development with participation from Omvestments, Urban.us, Cheryl Heller and Gary Scheft of CommonWise LLC, Synergy Growth among others to solve last-mile connectivity problems in the most remote areas of the world. These latest funding round shows investor confidence in BRCK as well as it stamps its mission to help connect the world.
Source: Techmoran  7 January 2016

To see Juliana Rotich, BRCK talk about the Kio Kit, click on the link here