Kano, the open source computer users code and build themselves, has been upgraded with the Raspberry Pi 2 to make the machine run “six times faster”, as the company also raises new funding.
Driving the product development is $15 million (£9.9m) of Series A funding, led by Breyer Capital, with participation from Collaborative Fund and Jim O'Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.
Kano also said it will raise up to $500,000 of its new round from its community through Quire, the equity crowd-funding platform. The funding round will be used for extending the product platform; scaling the business in the US, the UK and new markets; building out Kano's brand; and continuing to grow its multinational team, said the company.
“There are over 8 billion connected devices in the world, but only 50 million people know how to talk to them. It should be simple and fun for anyone, anywhere to make and play with technology beyond the sealed screen. Code can be a creative art, and it starts with our new computer that anyone can make,” said Alex Klein, co-founder and chief product officer of Kano.
Jim Breyer, chief executive officer of Breyer Capital, said: “Kano is enabling and empowering the next generation of innovators with a truly delightful educational product that makes basic computing skills accessible for all. The global opportunity for Kano, and the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people around the world is enormous.”
The new Kano includes Make Art, a digital easel to learn code by painting characters and fractals; Terminal Quest, a narrative adventure controlled with command-line Linux “magic spells”; and Kano Blocks now comes with new code blocks and challenges to make water slides and wooden towers in Minecraft.
The new machine can also be used to build sounds and graphics in Pong, and to program characters and backgrounds from the Moshi Monsters franchise. The new Kano costs £119.99.