TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- JumpStart® today announced that it is developing online and mobile learning adventures for kids featuring well known animation franchises for the first time. Today marks the launch of new online and mobile games inspired by DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.'s (Nasdaq: DWA) marquee film franchise Madagascar. Formerly known as Knowledge Adventure®, the company also announced it is changing its name to JumpStart.
Madagascar Online™, a virtual world within the JumpStart universe which launches today at www.JumpStart.com, catapults kids into Madagascar-themed fun-filled learning quests and adventures. Also launching today on all iOS and Android platforms is an immersive themed learning game, Madagascar Preschool Surf 'n Slide™.
JumpStart is also working on developing a new gaming franchise inspired by How to Train Your Dragon.
"As JumpStart, we remain committed to delivering on the promise of offering adventure-based learning and next-generation immersive gameplay in a safe, trusted environment, while inspiring imaginative thinking," said David Lord, Company President and CEO. "We believe the combination of DreamWorks Animation's premium brands with our learning capabilities will be a win for children and parents across the globe. We look forward to working together to introduce new interactive worlds inspired by their animated film franchises into the JumpStart gaming universe and leveraging our technology to change the landscape of children's learning and gaming."
"JumpStart is at the forefront of developing innovative educational games and progressive technology for kids and we are pleased to join forces with them to launch new learning adventures that incorporate characters from DreamWorks Animation franchises," said Jim Mainard, Head of Digital Strategy for DreamWorks Animation.
Lord added, "We feel that JumpStart reflects the excitement, fun and sense of adventure that is so integral to our brand experience, which is why we decided to change our company name."
In addition to announcing a strategic alliance with DreamWorks Animation, JumpStart also announced that it has closed a new round of financing. Azure Capital Partners, TeleSoft Partners and other investors join as co-investors and value added partners.
Since the launch in 2009 of its JumpStart 3D Virtual World at www.JumpStart.com, the company has continually expanded the range of its online worlds and its game portfolio. JumpStart now offers both casual and immersive children's-focused gaming for mobile and stationary platforms on smartphone, tablet, console and traditional web-based browser interfaces.
In addition to the free content on www.JumpStart.com, families can upgrade to an affordable JumpStart membership to access thousands of additional learning games and adventures. Membership includes expanded access to the attractions inside Madagascar Online, as well as the complete JumpStart world, membership to www.mathblaster.com and 4 other downloadable learning games.
Knowledge Adventure® and JumpStart® are registered trademark and service marks of Knowledge Holdings, Inc.
JumpStart® creates magical 3D worlds packed with endless games and adventures that enable kids to run, swim and fly through a different quest every day, encountering characters they love, play with friends, and always discover and learn something new. Featuring the most advanced online and mobile gaming technology in the kids' space, JumpStart® delivers immersive, fun 3D adventure learning games for kids on the devices they use most in environments that parents have come to trust. For more than 20 years, children's software pioneer Knowledge Adventure® set the standard in children's software, creating the finest educational products for use in the home and the classroom, JumpStart is the first kids gaming company to develop a platform built upon the Unity 3D Engine. Its state of the art 3D game engine technology offers rapid, cost-efficient content creation capabilities leading to more products and more brand flexibility and brings gaming experiences and characters to life, within a console-like experience online. The company is internationally renowned for its award-winning JumpStart and Math Blaster® and SuperSecret® brands. Tested and trusted by teachers and parents alike, JumpStart software has helped millions of children build and strengthen essential learning skills. A subsidiary of Knowledge Holdings, Inc., the company is privately-held and based in Torrance, California. For more information, go to www.jumpstart.com.
ABOUT DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
DreamWorks Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films, television specials and series and live entertainment properties, meant for audiences around the world. The Company has world-class creative talent, a strong and experienced management team and advanced filmmaking technology and techniques. DreamWorks Animation has been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by FORTUNE® Magazine for four consecutive years. In 2012, DreamWorks Animation ranks #14 on the list. All of DreamWorks Animation's feature films are now being produced in 3D. The Company has theatrically released a total of 24 animated feature films, including the franchise properties of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. The Company's theatrical releases for the current year are Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted on June 8, 2012 and Rise of the Guardians on November 21, 2012.
ABOUT TELESOFT PARTNERS
TeleSoft Partners is a special situations venture capital firm. TeleSoft focuses on multi-stage venture investments and special situations in the information technology, communications, and energy value chain industries. TeleSoft is typically a contrarian investor taking a lead or co-lead role as an operational value added partner. TeleSoft has raised capital commitments in excess of $625 million in multiple funds. Over the last seventeen years, TeleSoft and its principals, pre-TeleSoft, have funded and helped build ~61 companies, resulting in ~37 mergers & acquisitions and IPOs to date and ~9 companies are still private. TeleSoft's Strategic Partnerships include Alltel (Acquired by Verizon), Bechtel, Deutsche Telekom T-Venture, Nexant, SalesForce.com, and Symphony Technology Group. For more information, visit www.telesoftvc.com.
ABOUT AZURE CAPITAL PARTNERS
Founded in 2000, Azure is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm with over $750 million under management. We invest in early stage technology companies that are at the forefront of a transformative opportunity for growth. We have served as trusted advisors to some of the most successful and important technology companies created in the last decade, including VMware, Bill Me Later (acquired by eBay), Calix, Top Tier (acquired by SAP) and World Wide Packets (acquired by Ciena), and have helped to generate billions of dollars of value in these companies for our entrepreneurs and investors. The Azure team is recognized for industry thought leadership, a broad network of powerful industry relationships, and a unique professional investment approach to venture investing. We passionately support our portfolio companies with active guidance in all key aspects of team building, strategy, operations and governance.