After raising $1.5 million on Kickstarter in 30 days, Kano, the computer you build and code yourself, is now available for $149.99. Kano has already been pre-ordered over 18, 000 units for kids “of all ages”, as the company says.
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Inspired by a challenge from a 7-year-old, Kano is a computer you build yourself, with simple steps, and creative tools –to make technology, not just consume it.
Kano was co-founded by Israelis: Saul Klein, Yonatan Raz-Fridman and Alex Klein. In addition to the successful $1.5 million campaign on Kickstarter in 2013, Kano has raised a seed round led by Index Ventures, with participation from private investors, including James Higa, Troy Carter, Shana Fisher, Jason Goodman, Daniel Tal, Dror Ceder, Avi Smila, Jonathan Klein, Robin Klein, as well as Adam Balon, Richard Reed, and Jon Wright of JamJar Investments.
Based in London, Kano is a team of 22 people representing 11 different nationalities that work out of three countries.
Kano’s kit comes with colorful, plug-and-play pieces, built on top of the Raspberry Pi. Its hardware clicks together like Lego blocks. You’re guided by illustrated storybooks (available in seven languages), which walk you through building and coding your own computer, music, games, and software.
“It’s time to revive the personal computer for a new generation, ” said Alex Klein, co-founder and chief product officer at Kano. “Kano is a simple, fun way to make and play – to take control of technology and shape it for the better. We wanted to build a computer with creativity, not just consumption, at the core.” Klein’s 7-year-old cousin Micah inspired the project by challenging the founders to create a computer he could build himself, “as simple and fun as Lego.”
Once built, users can make games like Pong and Snake, build wireless servers, synth beats and songs, invent massive Minecraft worlds with code, load up and explore hundreds of open-source apps, and much more. As you make and play on Kano, you earn points and level up your character. You can share your creations, earning glory with a global community of young makers. Over half a million lines of code have already been created and shared with Kano.
“We’re building a new kind of computer company for a new creative generation – anyone, anywhere, from London to Lagos, from Boston to Shanghai, ” said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kano. “This extends beyond the Western world – if we can put the power of a new personal computing experience, an open one, in the hands of those who never had it before, imagine the possibilities.”