Kenya’s BRCK ships over 600 devices
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Kenyan-developed modem-cum-router BRCK has shipped over 600 devices to 45 countries since it was launched with the goal of providing internet connectivity in off-grid rural areas.
Launched in July and initially developed by Kenyan firm Ushahidi before being spun out as a separate entity, the BRCK works in much the same way as a mobile phone, switching between Ethernet, Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G mobile networks. Power is redundant, as if power fails the BRCK can fall back on its 8-hour battery automatically.
East African Community (EAC) figures suggesting electricity is a constant problem in the region, with 90 per cent of schools and 30 per cent of hospitals off-grid, and the BRCK is an attempt to tackle that issue.
The company was initially funded to the tune of US$172,000 in Kickstarter, and has since raised US$1.2 million in funding from Invested Development, Omvestments, Urban.us, Cheryl Heller and Gary Scheft of CommonWise LLC and Synergy Growth to launch and ship.