Kano Raises $28M in Series B, and Brings New Computer Kits to More Than 4,500 Retail Stores

Index Ventures

Today, DIY computer company Kano announced a mass North American rollout into more than 4,500 retail stores, stocking its creative computing kits in every Best Buy and Target, select Walmart stores, Microsoft Stores, Jet.com and The Source, as well as existing partners Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Indigo and Toys R Us. This expansion is fueled by $28M in new funding.

The Series B round was led by the Thames Trust and Breyer Capital, with Index Ventures, the Stanford Engineering Venture Fund, LocalGlobe, Marc Benioff, John Makinson, Collaborative Fund, Triple Point Capital, and Barclays participating.

At more than 1,000 stores, Kano’s full line of all-ages computer and coding kits – including the new Pixel Kit, Motion Sensor Kit, and Computer Kit Complete – will be presented on interactive displays, both on shelves and on end-cap fixtures, heading up the new STEM category.

Kano shipped the first “computer anyone can make” in September 2014, and is now expanding its retail presence more than four-fold. Its kits are deployed in more than 1000 education programs worldwide. Its community of beginner developers, in 86 countries, many as young as six, have shared over 150,000 apps in the last year alone. These beginners spend 13.5 hours, close to Snapchat, on the company’s Computer Kits during the first 30 days. Kano describes itself as a new kind of computer company, focused on creation, not just consumption.

“Kano has grown into a category leader, with hardware and software that prepares all ages for the future,” said Jim Breyer, Founder and CEO of Breyer Capital. “The financing, expansion into mass retail, and new products will expose the unique Kano experience to millions more.”

“The opportunity for Kano and other creative, educational platforms like Codecademy and Roblox is growing,” said Danny Rimer, General Partner at Index Ventures.

“We believe that the time has come for a new kind of computing, premised on people’s need to understand and shape the world around them – not just swipe, tap, and wait for the latest similar-looking screen,” said Alex Klein, Kano’s Co-founder and CEO. “The next generation is rising and ready to make their own technology.”

Kano is already collaborating with the Best Buy Foundation, bringing Computing Kits and workshops to schools and academies across North America as well as supporting the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s ConnectHome initiative, where it provides kits and digital literacy training to underserved communities. The company will also be participating in the Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire on November 11th and 12th. All ages will be able to make their first computer and test the range of Kano kits at hundreds of participating stores.

Kano kits combine device building (computers, sensors, light boards) and creative coding with a free online community, available to makers across the globe. The product lineup ranges from the free Kano App and the $29.99 Motion Sensor Kits, to the $249.99 Computer Kit Complete, a build-your-own laptop. Kano is the only end-to-end system in the ed-tech category, and demystifies computing for all ages through simple steps, physical building, and play.

The Computer Kit, starting at $149.99, is the original build-your-own-computer. It comes with all the bits and books you need to make a powerful PC, and a suite of onboard software challenges, that let you explore the terminal, Hack Minecraft, make music, and build apps, leveling up as you go.

The $29.99 Motion Sensor Kit opens up infrared technology and lets you learn to code apps, music, and games, controlled with hand gestures. The $79.99 Pixel Kit is a DIY light board that lets you draw & code animations, interactive apps and art. You can try Kano Code, the most playful learn-to-code platform, here, and explore community creations here.

“The Source is very excited to be featuring Kano products as part of its gifting line up this holiday season. Not only are they fun but also introduce new skills and learning opportunities,” said Ron Craig, Vice President, Marketing and Operations at The Source.

“Best Buy Canada is excited to partner with Kano in bringing their computer building kits for youth to our stores,” said Zayn Jaffer, Best Buy Canada’s Vice President of Emerging Business. “These products will help youth learn about the physical and software components of computers, while providing invaluable educational skills in coding and programming. These skills are important for future generations to learn early on.”

For videos, please check the Kano YouTube Channel. For other press materials, please click here.

About Kano

Inspired by a challenge from a 6-year-old, Kano creates computer and coding kits for all ages, all over the world. Its mission is to make technology as simple and fun to create as it is to consume. Kano launched the first computer anyone can make on Kickstarter in 2013 – it raised $1.5M, the largest ever ed-tech crowdfunding on the platform, with the backing of thousands of young people, artists, makers and teachers worldwide. It became the UK’s fastest growing tech startup in 2016 and Fast Company’s ninth most innovative company in consumer electronics in 2017.

Unlike other “kid tech” toys, Kano kits let beginners build real devices, and offer a range of learn-to-code environments. It takes makers from block based to real text coding, including Python, JavaScript and Unix commands, and into collaborative coding on the Kano World community platform. Over 200,000 applications and over 33 Million lines of code have been uploaded so far by creators of all ages.

The original build-and-code-your-own computer remains a crowd favorite, with 85% 5 star reviews on Amazon.com and a Net Promoter Score of 55. Kano also works with local communities to bring digital literacy to underserved areas in Africa, Asia, and North America.

The company has been boosted by the involvement and endorsements of customer Steve Wozniak, Pong inventor Al Alcorn, supermodel Karlie Kloss, athlete Novak Djokovic, artist Nile Rodgers, and British Prime Minister Theresa May. Its most recent product is the Computer Kit Complete, a powerful, educational build-your-own laptop for $249.

The London company was co-founded by Saul Klein, Yonatan Raz-Fridman and Alex Klein.

Kano is the recipient of the first ever Cannes Lion for Product Design, Gold; the Red Dot Product Design Award; the Edison Award in Gaming/Computing, Gold; the German Design Award, Gold; the International Design Society of America, Silver; the Webby Award and People’s Voice Award; The International Design Excellence Award, Silver; and D&AD (In Book Award).

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3i announces three new hires in its Private Equity team

3I

3i announces three new hires in its Private Equity team. The new hires highlight the strength and growth of the business across its core markets in Europe.

Philipp Bruchmann has joined as a Director in the Frankfurt office. Before joining 3i, Philipp was Vice President of Group Corporate Development and M&A Execution at Deutsche Telekom. Prior to this, he was a Principal at Warburg Pincus in Frankfurt and London, where he focused on the German-speaking markets across the TMT and business services sectors.

Jamie Supple has joined as a Senior Associate in the London office. Before joining 3i, Jamie was an Investment Manager at Duke Street, where he focused on the healthcare and services sectors, and prior to that worked in the investment banking team at Hawkpoint Partners in London.

Karel van der Voorden has joined as an Associate in the Amsterdam office. He is a deal team member for Basic-Fit (European discount fitness chain) and Euro-Diesel (manufacturer of power back-up systems. Prior to joining 3i, Karel worked in Morgan Stanley’s Benelux investment banking team in London.

3i’s Private Equity team has had a busy six months, with three new investments, Hans Anders (Benelux), Formel D (Germany) and Cirtec (North America). In addition, a number of its portfolio companies have made strategic bolt-on acquisitions, including Ponroy, ATESTEO and Etanco.

Alan Giddins and Menno Antal, Managing Partners and co-heads of Private Equity, commented:

“We would like to offer a warm welcome to our new colleagues in Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam. Their skills and experience will add greatly to the team as it seeks to identify attractive mid-market investment opportunities across our target markets of Europe and North America.”

-Ends-

For further information, contact:

3i Group plc
Kathryn van der Kroft
Media enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3021
Email: kathryn.vanderkroft@3i.com

Imogen Harvey
Media enquiries
Tel: +44 20 7975 3027
Email: imogen.harvey@3i.com

Notes to editors:

About 3i Group

3i is a leading international investment manager focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Its core investment markets are northern Europe and North America. For further information, please visit: www.3i.com

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Crosser Technologies AB secures €1.4 million in seed funding

Spintop Ventures

Pioneers in real-time technologies raises capital to launch its Intelligent Edge Computing software for Industrial IoT.

Sundsvall/Stockholm, Sweden, October 9, 2017 — Crosser Technologies AB, a leader in Intelligent Edge Computing software (or “Fog Computing”) for industrial and enterprise IoT, announces today that it has raised €1.4 million in Seed capital led by Spintop Ventures with Almi Invest and Norrlandsfonden as co-investors in the round.

Crosser’s software acts as an on-site middle-layer between sensors and cloud services, analysing the streaming data in real-time and enabling large cost savings and real-time local actions for time-sensitive applications. It is designed to collect all the data from sensors
or operational technology (OT) machine data in real-time, analyse the data in milliseconds, aggregate, lter, enhance and take actions on the data in a distributed way. It is typically installed on a factory oor server or IoT Gateways and can also be embedded in equipment, machines or vehicles.

”The core real-time engine has been in development for several years by Ulf Björklund, our Head of R&D and co-founder”, said Crosser CEO and co-founder Martin Thunman. ”When we started Crosser we had the foundation already built which has enabled us to bring a product to market in a very short time. The funding will allow us to expand the team and to invest in sales and marketing”.

”The opportunities for industrial companies to embrace IoT to leverage data analytics for competitive advantages are huge.In many scenarios it will require distributed and intelligent edge computing” said Finn Persson, Partner at Spintop Ventures.
“The combination of a very large market opportunity, Crosser’s technology and the expertise and track-record of the founders make us very excited to lead the seed round in the company”.

Crosser’s solution includes a cloud-based management platform with a drag ‘n drop Flow Studio for easy set-up and over-the-air con guration and software updates. It also comes with a library of pre-built adapters and connectors for sensor data, industrial protocols, enterprise data sources and applications, cloud apps and cloud services.

Crosser has several deployments in various industries. As an example can be mentioned the data coordination for a supply and eet management system for Sweden’s largest forestry industry. Which was implemented and customized in partnership with one of Europe’s leading software integrators. Crosser’s partnership model has gained great traction, and there are s”ome major industry projects in the pipeline.

”An Industrial IoT project is not a stand-alone initiative. Besides collecting the sensor data it is also an integration project. It is when the sensor data is combined with other enterprise data that the full value is extracted.” said Martin Thunman. “Our objective is to make it very simple to collect, analyze and integrate the streaming data. All in the edge, managed by a cloud-based platform.”

About Crosser Technologies
Crosser designs and develops intelligent edge computing software for industrial and enterprise IoT applications.
The Crosser Fog Computing solution o oads the Cloud services, provides real-time analytic and decision making capabilities close to IoT sensors and IoT devices. This sub- stantially reduces Cloud services cost and bandwidth costs and gives a sub millisecond response time on data streams for real-time local actions. The software is ideally suited for Enterprise customers in a variety of industries and applications including Industrial IoT, Supply Chain, Healthcare, Smart Building and Smart Cities.
https://crossertech.com/

About Spintop Ventures
Founded in 2009, Spintop Ventures is a venture capital rm with a senior team backed by a network of successful tech entrepreneurs who have invested in Spintop alongside institutional investors family o ces and experienced private investors.

About Almi Invest
Almi Invest is Sweden’s most active startup investor. Almi Invest manages a total equity of SEK 3 billion and has since start invested in about 600 startups. Our best holdings have been divested to major industry players such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Qlik or through successful IPOs such as Tobii and MIPS. Almi Invest is a Venture Capital company within the Almi Group.
www.almiinvest.se

About Norrlandsfonden

Norrlandsfonden is a trust fund that works to promote the development of companies with ambitions for growth in the counties of Norrbotten, Vasterbotten, Vasternorrland, Jamtland and Gavleborg in northern Sweden.
http://norrlandsfonden.se/

Crosser Media Folder (DropBox)
Contains resent pressreleases, team images, logos and product images.
http://dropbox.com/crossertech

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KPN Ventures participates in Cottonwood’s investment in sustainable cooling tech

Kpn Ventures

KPN Ventures’ partner Cottonwood Technology Fund announced today a € 1.0 million investment, together with OostNL, in the Dutch company SOUNDENERGY BV. SOUNDENERGY® has developed a unique technology for space- and process cooling by sound waves. The patented thermo-acoustic technology applied in the Thermo Acoustic Energy Converter THEAC-25 device makes it possible to convert solar or industrial waste heat directly into useable cooling without the use of electric power, harmful refrigerants or moving parts and at a much lower cost. This disruptive technology has worldwide applications in cooling industries e.g. food industry, marine, dredge, GSM antennas, leisure resort, shopping centres and on high energy consuming data centres. 

“The participation of Cottonwood in SOUNDENERGY is a major step which helps us to roll-out on a global scale.” said Herbert Berkhout, CEO of SOUNDENERGY. “We are now able to fully focus on the industrial ramp up of our THEAC-25 prototype and start excepting international orders. Cottonwood has the team, experience and worldwide worthy network to make our high impact ambition come through.”

“We are excited by the prospect of the elegant and sophisticated Thermo Acoustic technology’s ability to compete in many application areas. Said Ray Quintana, General Partner of Cottonwood Technology Fund, The THEAC-25s combination of energy utilization, low cost, zero carbon footprint and contribution to the circular economy makes it unique in the world.“

“KPN was recently recognized as the world’s most sustainable telecom operator“, said Herman Kienhuis, Managing Director of KPN Ventures.” The potential application of SoundEnergy’s technology in the cooling of data centers in an environmentally friendly way and at a much lower cost is of particular interest to KPN, and as such we are excited to participate as partner in  Cottonwood’s commitment to the company.”

About SOUNDENERGY
SOUNDENERGY BV is a young disruptive company active in the space- and process cooling (HVAC) industry lead by founder Herbert Berkhout. SOUNDENERGY’s mission is to be the worldwide market leader in Thermo-acoustics cooling in order to shake up the cooling industry and become a high impact game changer. Co-founder and godfather of Thermo-acoustics Kees de Blok developed this technology which allows us to convert medium quality waste heat directly into usable cooling without the use of electric power, harmful refrigerants and moving parts. These specifications leads to a low CO2 footprint, a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of zero and a low ROI which makes the THEAC-25 suitable for a circular business model. Kees de Blok works more than 30 years on this invention. To learn about SOUNDENERGY and their products. Visit www.soundenergy.nl.

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BASF invests in high-tech company Applied Nano Surfaces Sweden

Basf Ventures

Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Uppsala, Sweden, September 20, 2017 — BASF Venture Capital GmbH is leading an investment round in the Swedish high-tech company Applied Nano Surfaces Sweden AB (ANS), headquartered in Uppsala, Sweden. ANS offers unique surface treatment technologies to reduce friction and wear in industrial and automotive applications. The investment is co-led by the existing investor Fouriertransform AB.

“ANS has advanced its proprietary surface treatment technologies to meet the market demand for low-cost, high-performance friction and wear reduction technologies,” said Markus Solibieda, Managing Director at BASF Venture Capital. “This is confirmed by the impressive list of applications under development with key customers. We are confident that ANS’s management will translate this into significant value for its shareholders.”

ANS will use the investment proceeds to put its ongoing customer projects into high-volume series production, initially in automotive applications such as valve train components, cylinder liners and connecting rods. In addition, the funds will be used to further expand business development activities in other industrial application areas as well, such as hydraulic motors, rock drills, pumps, chains, gears and compressors, where friction and wear are highly relevant topics.

“This financing through BASF Venture Capital allows us to mature our customer projects to high-volume serial production applications,” said Christian Kolar, CEO and Co-founder of ANS. “The demand for solutions to improve energy efficiency is strong not only in the automotive sector, but increasingly also in industrial applications. Once we have established production for key applications, we will be able to expand and fully exploit the great potential with our highly scalable processes.”

“ANS has developed friction reduction technologies with a very favorable cost-performance profile,” said Michael Nettersheim, Investment Manager at BASF Venture Capital. “Ease of implementation should support broad market adoption. Currently, late-stage tests at well-known OEMs from the automotive industry are underway. We expect that the exciting results from prior tests will be validated.”

About BASF Venture Capital
BASF Venture Capital GmbH was established in 2001 as a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen, Germany, with the aim of exploring new growth potentials based on investments in startup companies and funds. More information is available at:  www.basf-vc.com.

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at:  www.basf.com.

About Applied Nano Surfaces Sweden AB
Applied Nano Surfaces AB (ANS) offers innovative solutions for friction and wear reduction. The technologies have a favorable cost-performance profile and are easily implemented in existing production lines. ANS has three core offerings: ANS Triboconditioning®, ANS Tricolit® and ANS TriboNite®. ANS Triboconditioning® is a mechanochemical surface treatment method that is used to reduce friction losses for components made of steel and cast iron. ANS Tricolit® is a series of low friction coatings applicable to components of various materials and shapes. ANS TriboNite® is an advanced heat treatment and coating process that gives the component a hard and durable surface with low friction capabilities. ANS has more than 50 development projects with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers from the automotive industry as well as over 20 customer projects in various industrial applications where friction reduction is a major topic. More information is available at:  www.appliednanosurfaces.com

Media contact:

BASF
Inga Franke
+49 173 3099242
 inga.a.franke@basf.com

Catrin Wingqvist Hood
+46 31639824
 catrin.hood@basf.com

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KPN Ventures joins €8M investment round in Belgian data company Sentiance

KPN Ventures

Antwerp, New York, June 22, 2017

Sentiance announces today that it has secured €8 million in funding led by Volta Ventures, with co-investor KPN Ventures. All previous investors including Samsung Catalyst Fund, Qbic, Pamica (investment company of Michel Akkermans) and top management participated in the new funding round. The investment will be used to execute on Sentiance’s vision to gain leadership, strengthen its intelligence platform and accelerate the growth globally.

The company’s platform uses machine learning algorithms and deep learning techniques to analyse IOT sensor data from mobile phones, wearables and IoT gateways. Sentiance turns this data into rich behavioural and contextual insights: understanding and predicting how people go through their everyday lives. Clients use the Sentiance platform to enrich their first-party customer data with real-life behavioural data so they can deliver context-aware and highly personalized experiences. Sentiance powers a broad range of applications including world class telematics and driver scoring, personalized health coaching, real-time customer engagement as well as smart home products and services.

“As IOT gains momentum consumers are rapidly adopting smart objects in their everyday lives. The sensors in these IOT devices generate a ton of data about how they behave and why they behave the way they do. Sentiance helps companies make sense of this new and very powerful data. Some of the world’s most innovative companies are adopting our platform to help them make their customers’ lives safer, smarter, healthier and convenient. Ultimately the Internet of Things should be about people, not things. We believe the real promise of IOT is the Internet of You.” said Toon Vanparys, CEO of Sentiance.

“Major players in the insurance, ride-hailing, mobility, health and IOT industries use Sentiance’s AI platform to power the Internet of You. This has the potential to change the lives of everyone around us which makes working with the Sentiance team such a positive and rewarding experience. ” said Frank Maene managing partner of Volta Ventures. “Sentiance was the first investment we made when we started the fund in January 2015 and we’re excited to continue our journey with them as the team grows to its next stage.”

Herman Kienhuis, managing director of KPN Ventures adds: “The future digital customer experience will be fully personalized. Sentiance’ powerful predictive analysis technology offers companies a unique tool to improve their customers’ experience and develop new personalized services, while respecting strict European privacy laws. We’re happy to support the Sentiance team in realizing this ambition, together with a powerful group of international investors”

About Sentiance
Sentiance is a data science company turning IOT sensor data into rich insights about people’s behaviour and real-time context. Sentiance was born in January 2015, has offices in Antwerp, New York and London. More than 80% of the employees are highly skilled data scientists and software engineers, specialized in machine learning, deep learning and signal processing. As an enabling platform, Sentiance focuses on large innovation driven companies and disruptors, as a partner and collaborator to drive transformational change. Sentiance core purpose is to become the context engine for the Internet of You leveraging our core expertise in behavioural analytics based on observed data by assisting them in building out deeper and more valuable relations with their end-customers. www.sentiance.com

About Volta Ventures
Volta Ventures Arkiv invests in young and ambitious internet and software companies in the Benelux. The fund’s team, with active support from some 30 business angels, expects to make a substantial impact on every company it invests in by working with the founders and management to identify new markets and customers, hire senior talent, provide ongoing guidance and arrange further financing rounds. Volta Ventures Arkiv is supported by ARKimedes-Fund II (an initiative of ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen NV and the Flemish Region) and the European Investment Fund. www.volta.ventures

About KPN Ventures
KPN Ventures is the venturing arm of KPN, The Netherlands’ leading telecom & ICT company. KPN Ventures aims to build value-creating partnership with innovative technology companies, providing access to capital, expertise, network and customer channels. It focuses on early growth-stage investments in European companies in the segments: Internet of Things, Connected Home, Digital Healthcare, Cyber Security, Mobile/OTT services, Cloud Computing and Data & Analytics. KPN Ventures has its main office in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and has invested in a.o. ActilityEclecticIQSecurityMattersVilocSensaraCardioSecur and Nello.
www.kpnventures.com | twitter.com/kpnventures

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