Edtech company Monkimun nets $1 mln seed


Monkimun, a language learning startup based in San Francisco and Madrid, has raised $1 million in seed funding. The investors included 500 Startups, SHO-zemi Innovation Ventures, Incuvest and Lanzame Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

San Francisco, California (PRWEB) March 31, 2015

Monkimun, an award winning educational technology company that makes language learning for toddlers and kids fun, today announced it landed $1M in seed funding to expand its adaptive learning platform and apps portfolio. Monkimun’s technology uniquely targets children ages two­-to­-six, during the time when their brains are at their most flexible stage and cognitively suited to learning languages.

Monkimun participated in 500 Startups’ accelerator program (batch 10) last year. Now they’ve raised capital from a global set of investors to help with international expansion. Some of the investors in this round include 500 Startups, Singapore based Incuvest, Japanese based SHO-z​emi Innovation Ventures – C​VC arm of one of the biggest afterschool chains in the country, Spanish based Lanzame Capital and angel investors Ian Noel, Iñaki Arrola and Carina Szpilka – ex-C​EO of ING direct Bank France ­/ S​pain.

Monkimun’s partnership with SHO­-zemi Innovation Ventures (sziv.org) is a pioneering move, marking the very first time that an educational institution in Japan will work directly with a 500 Startup (500.co) through direct corporate investment. “Our mission is to help find, and fund, the new wave of education for the next century,” says Yoshi A. Okamoto, SHO­-zemi Innovative Ventures Executive Director. “Monkimun is a perfect example of the type of forward­-thinking educational thinking we’re looking for.”

Out of beta just six months, the San Francisco­-Madrid based startup is challenging market incumbents by delivering language learning to a younger audience at a time when it is easier for them to become multilingual. Monkimun has earned rapid, consistent 15 percent month­over­month growth and more than 1,000,000 downloads with over 40% of them from East & South East Asia, as parents clearly recognize that children who become multilingual reap lifelong advantages, including better test scores (especially in math, reading, and vocabulary), and enhanced memory, planning and multi­tasking skills.

“Currently more than 20,000 kids across the world are learning languages with Monkimun on a daily basis, the equivalent of 1,000 classrooms filled with students every day. Even better, we have hundreds of thousands monthly active learners, making us the leading language learning company for preschoolers,” said Cristobal Viedma, CEO and co­founder. “There is great demand for digital language learning for children two­-to-­six years old, as they have been underserved by current offerings and parents worldwide, and especially in Asia, want to give their children the very best language foundation for future success.”

Monkimun now offers five apps in English, Spanish and Chinese, which have won awards including Best Android App of 2014 by Google. The company will soon release a subscription platform that integrates all lessons and content to offer a one stop shop for parents looking to raise multilingual kids. According to market research firm Ambient Insight, well­-known competitive intelligence experts, the worldwide market just for digital English language learning products revenue is projected to surge to $3.1 billion by 2018.

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