Digital publisher Mindshapes has raised $5 million in initial funding from its five founders and from unnamed angels, the company said. The influx will be used to launch two online learning virtual worlds, as well as to expand its app and browser-based educational game products.

The first of these two worlds will be Magic Town, where children can explore, learn and interact with their favorite picture book characters. Deals are already in place with publishers for titles featuring Elmer (a patchwork elephant, for the uninitiated), Winnie the Witch and Little Princess (pictured).

The next one will be Language City, a task-based virtual world for learning languages, soon to be launched in closed beta.

Mindshapes currently has seven successful titles on Apple’s App Store, including Jack and the Beanstalk, Hickory Dickory Dock and Casper Scare School.

“We are passionate about using the latest technology and contemporary educational thinking to change the way that children learn around the world,” said chief operating officer David Begg. “This investment will accelerate our plans to become the world’s most trusted digital publisher of high quality educational games, books and learning worlds as we continue to expand.”

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