Incuvest joins SHO-Zemi Innovation Ventures to invest in ed-tech startup Monkimun

Visual from the Monkimun website

IncuVest, the Singapore-based early stage tech investor has joined hands with SHO-Zemi Innovtion Ventures, an offshoot of Japan’s premier tutoring school for children and young adults, SHO-zemi, to invest in US and Spain-based mobile startup Monkimun.

Monkimun builds fun, educational games for children with the goal of making language learning fun.

While both sides did not disclose details of the seed round, it is learnt that Monkimun – pronounced “Monkey Moon” and personified by a smiling monkey – had raised around $1 million, and will use the proceeds to enhance its existing portfolio of apps for kids.

Monkimun said its apps have already been recognised by record sales in the US, France, and China.

In addition to capital infusion, the seed funding will also see SHO-Zemi Ventures leverage its parent’s unique position in the education marketplace to access the network of classrooms and students in Japan.

One of the first initiatives will be the co-development of a Japanese-language learning app in 2015, the company said in a statement.

The collaboration with SHO-zemi Innovation Ventures marks the first time an educational institution has invested in a 500 Startup batch company.

While the initial focus will be on children, the technology can be adapted for older students and even adults in a variety of markets.”Our mission is to help find, and fund, the new wave of education for the next century,” said Yoshi A Okamoto, SHO-zemi Innovative Ventures executive director, adding that “Monkimun is a perfect example of the type of 2.0 educational thinking we’re looking for.”

Cristobal Viedma, Monkimun CEO, said he was excited about the future, and added that the partnership with SHO-zemi would forward the company’s common goal of revolutionizing and improving education.”

In addition to investing in Monkimun, SHO-zemi Innovation Ventures will now be doing more US deals from their office in Redwood City, in the heart of Silicon Valley, which launched last week. The company has officially joined the community at EdTech Innovation Lab, part of Stanford University-housed GSVlabs.

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