Moonshoot, a startup focused on teaching the English language to children worldwide through online gaming, announced that it has raised $6.6 million in venture backed financing.
The company also announced the appointment of Tom Kalinske as Executive Chairman. Kalinske previously served as president and CEO of console games publisher Sega of America from 1990 to 1996, and was later appointed CEO of educational toy company LeapFrog.
"With my work leading Leapfrog, Knowledge Universe, Sega, and Mattel, I have built a career creating compelling, useful products and services for children," said Kalinske. "I believe deeply in the power that rich, interactive content can have in helping children build a solid educational foundation."
Kalinske continues: "English increasingly is the world’s 'global language.' It is also a difficult language to learn for non-native speakers. This makes learning English one of the most important and challenging educational priorities facing educators, parents, and children around the world. Moonshoot makes learning English fun and exciting for children, and will deliver an innovative, effective approach to building this important skill."
Moonshoot's executive staff includes former Sega of America executive vice president Shinobu Toyoda, who joins the company as Chief Marketing Officer. Moonshoot co-founders Koji Kato (CEO) and Jay Jamison (president) are former Microsoft managers. Dai Sakurai, previous managing director of Sanrio and Sega Toys, has joined Moonshoot's Board of Directors.
Moonshoot will launch its service later this year in Japan, with future expansion planned for China, Taiwan, and Korea.