BRCK has always been committed to innovating in emerging markets. Regardless of what we’ve accomplished in the past, we aren’t going to be complacent about the future. And BRCK Labs is how we plan on ensuring that.
At BRCK, we understand that the technology paradigms that work in other parts of the world do not necessarily apply in Kenya. The hardware needs to be more rugged with power and data backup. The feature set needs to be tweaked. The costs likely need to be spread out. The user interaction will be from a different understanding, on a different device, and for different reasons than what is presented at CES in Las Vegas.
And over the last five years, BRCK has developed several products specifically designed for the East African context. This includes the original BRCK V1, Kio Kit, PicoBRCK, Magma (LTE), SupaBRCK, and now the Moja Free WiFi platform. This is an incredible achievement, especially considering that many startups in North America develop on a single product over several years.
The Moja platform continues to gain traction with users and advertisers alike. We are now at over half a million monthly users, and those numbers are climbing steadily. We are currently pushing to double the number of Moja buses and are actively expanding into other countries.
BRCK has just finished restructuring internally to position the business so we can handle this network expansion. And, as the platform matures, we are also asking ourselves, “Okay – what’s next?”
We are BRCK Labs; we make cool shit!
Emerging markets such as Kenya present countless opportunities and the challenge is often around deciding which one to pursue And so, as most of BRCK continues to grow the Moja platform, the BRCK Labs team is now tasked to come up with answers that question and pursue those possibilities.
What is cooler than a complete educational solution in a box, you ask?
Or a ruggedized edge computing router providing free WiFi to average Kenyans?
I admit it – those are going to be hard to beat.
But what about a country-wide weather station network that can help farmers across Kenya understand weather patterns? (Currently, Kenya only has 4 or 5 official weather stations and the data is not public.) Or a sensor that can report from extremely remote locations whether a motorcycle (a possible poacher) has driven by? Smart houses are all the rage in North America, maybe BRCK should pursue a device that adds smarts to shelters in refugee camps and slums. How about a device that allows people to provide energy PAYG services? Or a device that interconnects solar home systems to create a resilient mesh grid owned by the community? Clinic in-a-box, micro-generator, community-based blockchain micro-insurance, the first African array of micro-satellites – the opportunities are incredible!
It is both a dream come true and a fairly big responsibility to head BRCK Labs. To be a part of the next disruptive technology that will once again get BRCK on the cover of National Geographic or ranked in Time’s Top 50 Genius Companies. Five years ago, no one would have ever predicted that BRCK would be rolling out free WiFi and innovative LTE services; who can imagine what technology we will develop in the next five years!