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toons-tunesToonsTunes, another startup debuting at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco today, is a virtual playground for children to hear, create perform and share their own music compositions. They can listen to loops of drums, guitar, bass and keyboards among other instruments. They can pick the tempo or genre of music.

It’s got cartoonish characters playing drums. Kids can make games out of songs and chat inside different rooms on the site. They can also share songs through e-mail, MySpace and Facebook along with other sites. There are three revenue models — there’s a freemium system where players pay for an enhanced experience, there’s a sponsorship model, and there’s one for retailers who want to sell merchandise.

The company plans to market virally through mobile applications, e-mail and social networks. It’s been privately funded and has five employees. The founding team estimates their valuation to be $15 million.

Investor feedback


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George Zachary, Charles River Ventures: Really impressed by product quality. Reflects a lot of thought into what makes it fun for kids. Has a good revenue opportunity for selling copyrighted material.

Don Dodge, Microsoft’s director of business development for emerging business: The quality is amazing. Amazing sound library and animations. It’s in a hot market — games and music are two of the biggest markets on the Internet. You’re hitting both of them. It’s another easy investment that could have huge upside and little downside.

Jason Hirschhorn, MySpace’s chief product officer: They have to most fast before competitors like MTV and EA start targeting a younger audience.

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