SmarTots, a mobile device application for child development, has raised an undisclosed amount in its series A round from a consortium led by Japan-based internet and phone conglomerate SoftBank’s Korean corporate venturing unit. SoftBank’s SB Pan-Asia Fund joined the SmarTots consortium as a new investor alongside existing investors: angel investor Xu Xiaoping, founder of Zhenfund; angel network Angelvest; venture capital firms SOSVentures and ChinaRock Capital Management, which is backed by hedge fund Farallon. Greg Moon, chief executive (CEO) of SoftBank Ventures Korea, which manages the Pan-Asia fund and KRW290bn ($270m), said: “The formation of SoftBank’s SB Pan-Asia Fund [in 2011] is the result of SoftBank Corp’s long-term commitment to the region and its goal to cultivate regional winners. SmarTots has the right approach and team to provide an engaging educational experience for kids, and will prove to be a regional leader in the mobile learning industry.” SmarTots apps have been downloaded more than 1 million times since it launched its first China kids app in June 2012. Founded in 2011, the company offers 26 kids apps in China. Jesper Lodahl, CEO of SmarTots, said: “The growth of smartphones and tablets in China has been tremendous. “Combined with the incredible demand for high-quality education, Chinese parents want the best apps from around the world for their children, but language is a barrier. SmarTots works with international developers to localize their content for Chinese-speaking audiences. And soon, we’ll be expanding to markets all around Asia.”

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