Kano Computing (“Kano”), a venture-backed company best known for its DIY computer kits and software that teaches kids coding and STEM skills, has spun out a creative software suite and online community platform as an independent business doing.
The move comes as the UK company shifts focus away from its home-built PC roots in pursuit of profitability and long-term sustainability.
Founded in London in 2013, Kano has over the years brought to market a range of products designed to teach kids the building blocks of computing. This includes his flagship product, his Raspberry Pi-based modular PC, and accessories like the Harry Potter Coding Kit, which features a physical wand that works across most platforms.
Raised by Kano Nearly $45 million over the last 10 years from prominent backers including Microsoft which worked with Kano Developing Windows-based PCs in 2019 represents a remarkable departure From the roots of the Raspberry PiHowever, the company appears to have struggled in recent years, shelving plans to bring Disney-branded products to market and announcing job cuts as part of a “restructuring effort.”
At the end of its most recent financial year, Kano reported a pre-tax loss of £10.1m ($12m). This was an improvement from his loss of £16.8m the year before, but still a loss. And while it’s still possible to buy some of the older products through Amazon, Kano has moved away from the products that made it famous and into a suite of “Stem” branded consumer devices that span audio and video. It is clear that there are
Ah A little over a year ago, Kano partnered with Kanye West to launch Stem Player, a music device that allows users to isolate and remix individual elements of a song.
However, with West displaying his anti-Semitic colors on multiple occasions, Kano revealed he was severing ties with the rapper in November, though Stem Player sales continue. sands West’s involvement. And earlier this week, Kano unveiled his Stem video projector, hinting at plans for all sorts of new products from food to clothing.
This leaves the core of the business in limbo as Kano heads in a new direction. Kano World has been an integral part of Kano’s service since its inception. Through his online account, a user can create games, animations, and art, share them with his Kano community, remix other users’ creations, and participate in challenges. .
The platform can be used independently of Kano’s hardware, but it’s designed to bring a little fun and practicality to your DIY computer kit.
Going forward, Kano World will be an independent entity led by CEO Ollie Dotsch, who was previously Head of Sales and Education at Kano Computing.
Dotsch began its new role in August when Kano World was officially incorporated. Kano World has three major shareholders, including Kano co-founder and CEO Alex Klein, Dotsch himself, and Kano Computing, according to UK Companies House filings.
In a Q&A with TechCrunch, Dotsch floated the idea of spinning out Kano World with CEO Klein and the company’s board of directors after leading sales of Kano’s Windows-based PCs to an eventual sell-out in early 2022. explained. The fact that Kano was shifting focus.
“Kano Computing is now committed to growing the Stem business,” said Dotsch. “By focusing on Stem, we believed that Kano World could and would grow into a product and business with little to no budget, resources, or attention. We can raise our own funds, build a team, and focus on the success of our vision.
For now, Kano World consists of a team of just three people and is fully funded by three major shareholders, with plans underway to seek new funding “in the coming months.” . Kano Computing will not only hold a stake, but will also act as an incubator of sorts in the short term, providing office space in East his London headquarters.
“Extracting Kano World from Kano Computing is complex and time-consuming, but we have already started in phases and when completed, both companies will be stronger than before,” said Dotsch.
Above all, Kano World focuses purely on the software aspect, but strives to retain at least some of Kano’s original “creators and creators” spirit. Additionally, Kano’s choice to give Kano World a chance to thrive on its own could be perceived as a positive step.
“In this environment, it makes sense for Kano World to grow outside of Kano Computing.[side]Kano Computing co-founder and CEO Alex Klein said in a statement: “Kano World has had many exciting iterations over the years and even caught the attention of Mark Zuckerberg, who used the platform to share posts with children. It’s the logical next step in delivering experiences.”
As before, Kano World is offering 2 of its 3 creative tools (Kano Code and Make Art) for free, including access to challenges for beginners. Get access to Pixel Motion and a wider range of challenges by signing up for a premium subscription for $10/month or $100/year.
According to Dotsch, they are actively working with the social community side of the platform to build a creative software suite, giving premium users first access to new products.
The new Kano World company plans to double its headcount to about six people by the end of February, after which it plans to hire people in software development and creative fields.