Kenya’s BRCK hauls in $3m from Steve Case, Synergy Energies and others

To kick off the year on a positive note, Kenyan startup BRCK has raised US$3-million from a group of international investors, which include former AOL executives Jean and Steve Case as well as TED, Swiss-based MKS Alternative Investments, Synergy Energy and Jim Sorenson.

Designed by the same team in Nairobi that’s behind Ushahidi, Crowdmap and the iHub, BRCK is a mobile WiFi hotspot that’s described as a back-up generator for the internet. The device is physically robust and can connect to multiple networks.

Read more: Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest

Business Day reports that the funding round will help expand the company’s operations, its ability to manufacture additional inventory, new designs of the devices and distribution across the continent and globally.

“At a time when education and information have never been so critical to the future of the world, connecting the four billion people that are not yet on the Internet is a top priority,” said Synergy Energy investment manager Jessica Dick.

In 2013, BRCK raised over US$172 000 on Kickstarter which was soon followed up with an additional investment worth US$1.2 million.

Read more: Richard Branson, Al Gore, Steve Case back Kenyan solar startup M-Kopa in $19m round

There’s been a growing foreign interest to financially support Kenya’s ecosystem within the last few months. This was realised when location-based addressing app OkHi secured funding from Silicon Valley investors recently. Last month, Steve Case also invested in Kenyan pay-as-you-go solar energy startup M-Kopa, alongside Richard Branson and Al Gore.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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