There is no doubt that TED has been one of the most influential organizations over the past decade. The most visible demonstration of TED’s influence is the huge number of TED talk videos across the internet. Well, the non-profit has just entered a new arena: investing. Late last week, Eduze – a South African content delivery startup – announced that it had received a venture investment from TED, the first such investment from the non-profit.
Eduze has built an interesting product. In a nutshell, the company has developed a platform that allows users to access and download libraries of digital content – from books, to videos, to articles, and so on – that are 100% free to download through free WiFi hotspots across South Africa. Here is how Eduze describes their platform:
We offer free and easy access to world-class digital content that can uplift, inform and empower those who are too apprehensive, confused or financially challenged to access traditional web and online services.
Eduze has created a platform that commercially distributes digital content to mobile devices without the need for 3G, ADSL or even electricity.1
What’s more, the company has just developed a a new piece of hardware to distribute this content when not at the various free hotspots across the country:
We made a box that allows us to distribute movies, games, music, ebooks and apps to mobile devices and computers- super quickly and with no data cost. We call these boxes CLOX – Cloud in a Box. CLOX doesn’t need 3G, ADSL or even mains electricity to work. It can be a completely autonomous network and operate with 3G when available.2
Eduze said that it will use the TED funding to ramp up production of the CLOX boxes.
The investment fits right into TED’s mission of spreading influential ideas. Deron Triff, TED’s head of media distribution, said as much in a statement.
Eduze has pioneered something extraordinary thanks to its technology…For the first time, entire swaths of the global population will have the ability to connect and explore, to discover and learn. It’s exactly this kind of breakthrough in connectivity we seek in our work to spread ideas to the far corners of the world.3