Moonshoot Closes Venture Investment with Alsop Louie Partners and TL Ventures, Adds Tom Kalinske as Executive Chairman

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Startup will teach English to children globally through new online gaming experience

Moonshoot ... has an important mission. It is addressing a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. And it is being built by a team that has created world-leading brands in this space" -- Gilman Louie, Partner, Alsop Louie Partners

Moonshoot, a startup whose mission is teaching English to children globally through an online gaming experience, today announced that Tom Kalinske has joined Moonshoot full-time as Executive Chairman. Tom Kalinske is the former CEO & Chairman of Leapfrog, President of Knowledge Universe, CEO of Sega of America, and CEO of Mattel. Moonshoot also is announcing today that it has raised a total of $6.6M in venture backed financing led by Alsop Louie Partners and TL Ventures. Gilman Louie of Alsop Louie Partners and Anthony Chang of TL Ventures have joined Moonshoot’s Board of Directors.

Moonshoot Attracts Experienced Education and Game Executives
“With my work leading Leapfrog, Knowledge Universe, Sega, and Mattel, I have built a career creating compelling, useful products and services for children,” said Tom Kalinske, Moonshoot’s Executive Chairman. “I believe deeply in the power that rich, interactive content can have in helping children build a solid educational foundation. 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."

In addition to Tom Kalinske, Moonshoot’s Executive Team includes Chief Marketing Officer, Shinobu Toyoda, former Executive Vice President, Sega of America, as well as co-founders Koji Kato, CEO and Jay Jamison, President, both former Microsoft managers. Dai Sakurai, former Managing Director of Sanrio and Sega Toys, has also joined Moonshoot’s Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled to have Tom Kalinske, Dai Sakurai and Shinobu Toyoda joining Moonshoot. Their track records are world-class. Moonshoot is the kind of investment opportunity we like to see. It has an important mission. It is addressing a multi-billion dollar market opportunity. And it is being built by a team that has created world-leading brands in this space—Leapfrog, Mattel, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Sega, and Sanrio,” said Gilman Louie, Partner, Alsop Louie Partners.

Moonshoot prepares Japan launch for later this year
Moonshoot plans to launch its service later this year. It will launch first in Japan with plans to expand next into other Asian countries, particularly China, Taiwan, and Korea. “The challenges for children learning English in foreign countries are huge. Parents tell us all the time of the frustration and difficulties they have with current solutions. This is particularly true in Japan, where over $5B is being spent on English language courses and training. Japan is also attractive as our launch market because it is the birthplace of many of the world’s most popular child-focused brands, including Hello Kitty!, Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Transformers, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Mario, and Bakugan,” said Koji Kato, Moonshoot’s CEO and co-founder.

About Moonshoot
Moonshoot’s mission is to spark English learning in children globally. It was formed by co-founders Koji Kato and Jay Jamison, in November 2007. Both are former Microsoft managers, and both worked at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond and in Microsoft’s Japan offices. They founded Moonshoot out of the shared vision that learning English was a critically important skill for children to meet the challenges of a flattening world.

For more information on Moonshoot, visit our website at or contact Jay Jamison at jay(at)moonshoot(dot)com or (650) 352-3553.

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