Information Technology

PEBL : a tiny PC that has the power and performance of your bigger desktop PCs

Written by Vincent R. Van Wyk

Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came

Meet PEBL, the tiny PC that packs a mighty punch! At only 12 cm, it has the power and performance of your bigger desktop PCs, but in a much more compact design. Powered with an Intel chip and with a range to suit your pocket and your performance needs.

Many moons ago, we began the PEBL conversation as a solution to the rapidly increasing global digital divide, where Africa remains the biggest victim. We are extremely passionate about the belief that what we do now, will determine Africa’s digital future, and so inevitably determine Africa’s social and economic well being.

A few years ago, we still did not have a name for our product, I was walking on the beaches of my hometown, Swakopmund, and spotted these beautiful black pebbles. They were elegant, robust, classy, strong… much like our product. And that’s where PEBL got it’s name.

I’ve been shaping Aircraft Maintenance Engineers for 17 years; now applying my skills to crafting the most impactful tool ever, PEBL! Add whiffs of business expertise from co-founder Michelangelo, and PEBL is unstoppable! I’m the dreamer; Mike’s the money man!

Link to online video

Your products and services 

PEBL pulse: Intel Celeron Quad Core/Intel Core i3 (for students/home users/schools)
PEBL breathe: Intel Core i5/Intel Core i7 (for corporates/small-medium businesses)
PEBL code: Intel Core i5 (for coders)
PEBL create: Intel Core i5/Intel Core i7 (for designers)

Tech Support, Service/Maintenance/Upgrade Centre, Experiential Store/Online Store 

Your success factors 

PEBL Pilot/Launch with strategic partner Paratus, October 2016. 120 PEBLs sold out at a rate of 1 every 2 days in a small Windhoek market.

Partnership with distributor KOLOK Namibia, June 2017.

Pitch Night Namibia runner-up August 2017.

SLUSH 2017, Helsinki, Finland,  November 2017.

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing

  1. Pricing lower/accessible.
  2. Superior technology
  3. Factory customizable
  4. Local tech support and service & maintenance centres. PEBL has a 72-hour maintenance & upgrade turnaround.
  5. Very low electricity consumption, saves corporates and government money.
  6. High performance under African heat
  7. At only 12cm, space-saving and portable
  8. We do corporate branding with LED light up effect
  9. Tailored for the African market. For Africans, by Africans
  10. Aesthetically pleasing, tested well with users
  11. High quality, 0% return rate since our pilot October 2016
  12. An African brand

Your business model  

We currently sell to distributor at a 15% mark-up, who then sells to resellers, who sells to end-users. However, once we scale early 2018, we will pivot to direct-selling, a 15% mark-up will rise to 40% with NO increase in end-user price.
Additionally, we offer tech support, service/maintenance/upgrade centres and supply upgrade parts & accessories.

A few words about your competitors

  1. Traditional Desktop Towers. They dominate African desktop market. PEBL outclasses them in performance, price, tech superiority, product appeal, size, portability, electricity consumption and UX.
  2. Intel NUC/HP Slice/Mac-Mini etc. DIY small form factor computers that have been struggling to penetrate the African markets because of price and incomplete product factor, among other things.
  3. Laptops. African corporates, governments, academia still prefer desktops. Laptops; ease-of-maintenance, life-span, performance is lacking.

Your website


About the author

Vincent R. Van Wyk

We are the makers of PEBL, a complete desktop PC replacement. I am Vincent, CEO and Lead Product Developer.

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