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Computer kit maker Kano secures additional funding from Sesame Ventures

Kano, a company which sells computer coding kits, has announced fresh funding from Sesame Ventures.

The funding, which is of an undisclosed amount, serves as an extension of Kano’s Series B round of $28m (£21m) raised in November 2017.

Kano builds computer kits and software which users can put together themselves, in order to help children learn to code. They can create their own projects such as Pong, Snake and Minecraft.

Kano shipped its first “computer and coding kit for all” in September 2014, with the aim of providing people of all ages with the opportunity to create tech. Kano says that it now has more than a quarter of a million makers in 150 countries, which means the kits have been used to create more than 53 million lines of code. People have submitted more than 550,000 creations, from music to art, games to apps and more, the company says.

The EdTech hardware startup was co-founded by Saul Klein, his cousin Alex Klein and Yonatan Raz-Fridman, and is based in London – with offices in Shenzhen and Boston too. Alex Klein commented on the investment news:  “Educational computing for kids is an emerging field, and with the investment and confidence of Sesame Ventures, part of the same organization behind the iconic brand Sesame Street, Kano will have the opportunity to define a new developmental framework – coupled with an ecosystem of media and products that will help kids ‘level up’ as they grow older.”

Sesame Ventures invests in and partners with companies which  innovate in education, health, and social welfare for kids. As part of this investment Kano and Sesame Ventures will explore future collaboration opportunities. Tanya Haider, exec VP for strategy, research, and ventures at Sesame Workshop, said: “With Sesame Ventures, our goal is to aid entrepreneurs whose work closely aligns with our mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder

“We are pleased to partner with Kano and, in the future, explore the creation of products, content, and research that positively impact the way parents and children approach and learn about technology,” she added.

Kano’s Series B in 2017 was led by Thames Trust and Breyer Capital. The $28m raise enabled the company to introduce a new line of DIY computing kits in more than 4,500 retail stores across North America and Canada, and the kits are now used in more than 3000 schools, the company says. It has also partnered with Amazon, Best Buy, Microsoft, Target and Walmart.

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