Kano, a do-it-yourself computer that looks to get children to begin coding at an early age, has announced that it will be upgrading its kit and that it has received $15 million in funding.

The company, which is based in London, made the announcements at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York.

The new model of Kano, which will come with a price tag of $149 and will begin shipping late in May, will be powered by the Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computer, the latest version of the popular open-source computer.

By introducing Raspberry Pi 2 into Kano, the processing speed of the child-focused supercomputers will be increased by six times.

The first generation of Kano computers, which is owned by 40,000 users, can be easily assembled by children due to the illustrated instructions of the computer, which was inspired by Lego bricks. These Kano computers will not be made obsolete with the release of the newer Kano computers, as the older Kano computers will be able to keep up with the processing power of the newer ones through the purchase of a Powerup Kit that costs $89. The kit will allow users to program light shows with the computer, adding another fun option for the Kano computer while upgrading its potential.

"It's been a rollercoaster ride from our Kickstarter start (last fall) to now, but we're passionate about giving the 600 million kids out there under the age of 15 access to coding through Kano," said Alex Klein, co-founder of the company.


Klein added that Kano is a new type of computer-focused company, with the core of Kano being the creative minds of its users.

Klein also said that due to the growth of Kano, he is looking to implement the 1-1-1 business model that was pioneered by Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce. In the business model, 1 percent of the product, equity and employee time of a company is sent out as donations for helping non-profit organizations.

Kano also revealed that it has closed a Series A funding round led by Breyer Capital, raising a total of $15 million.

Yonatan Raz-Fridman, Klein's co-founder for Kano and CEO, said that some of this funding will be earmarked toward refinements in the design of Kano and extensions in the platform of the computer to be better accommodated for an increasing list of extension kits that look to develop the potential of young future coders.

Children may wish to hook up their Kano computers to the robotic appliances or smart home gadgets of their houses, while others may simply want to create personal Minecraft worlds. This represents massive untapped potential from the younger generations, according to Raz-Fridman.

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