SoGeo locates $1.2M for location aware community applications

SoGeo, a service that collects and analyzes location data for users and their photos and videos, today announced it has secured a first round of funding for €1 million, which comes to $1.2 million (for now, until the euro drops further). The funding will be used to continue product development and market SoGeo’s mobile and Web apps to the public.

Babble lands $3M for online parenting advice

Babble Media, an online magazine and social network for hip, stylish parents, today announced it has secured a second round of funding for $3 million. That brings its total funding to $6.25 million. The funding will be used to build the company’s team, which includes another 10 hires in the next six to nine months.

Blue Sky Local has retailers wishing for rain

Weather can have a big impact on local businesses. How many times have you wanted to go out to dinner but decided not to because it was raining? Now Blue Sky Local, a company that lets retailers send text messages, emails and Twitter promotions to customers, is looking to help businesses overcome the slow sales due to bad weather.

Currensee hits 1 million trades just six months after launch

Currensee, a social network for foreign exchange traders, today announced its one millionth trade just six months after it’s initial launch. The company now claims close to 5,000 registered members across 80 countries with 100 platform supported brokers. Probably most impressive thought it that its total trading volume has reached more than $30 billion.

Sprout Social grabs funding for online social business tools

Sprout Social, a service for businesses to identify and engage with potential customers through social networks, today announced it has secured a first round of funding. First reported on by TechCrunch, the company has since confirmed the funding, though no specifics to the deal were disclosed. Leading the funding are Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, through their recently launched investment fund Lightbank. This marks the third investment for Lightbank, including Facebook application Where I’ve Been and Poggled, a social aggregation site.

Insider Pages's new Doctor Finder lets patients review medical specialists

At some point you have to find and go to a doctor. Right now you can look for doctors online, but often you get no insight into the doctor’s practice or their personality. Insider Pages, a place people go to post and read reviews on local businesses and services, today announced the launch of Doctor Finder, a tool to help people find medical specialists partnered with patient reviews.

Does Facebook deserve to own the Web? Maybe not

Facebook announced several new features this week at its F8 conference showing grand ambitions to become the authoritative source for people’s identities online. However, a recent report from research security experts at VeriSign iDefense, found some 1.5 million Facebook accounts hacked and for sale online. Which raises the obvious question: Do we really want to give Facebook this much power and authority?

Hulu could bite into users' wallets with freemium "Hulu Plus"

Significant changes may be in the works over at Hulu, a website for watching television shows online owned by media giants News Corp., NBC Universal and the Walt Disney Co., according to a Los Angeles Times blog post. The company may start offering Hulu users a subscription plan of $9.95 a month, dubbed Hulu Plus, as soon as May 24. But many videos will remain free — a key to Hulu’s early success.

Ad-hating Tumblr founder raises $5 million

Blogging startup Tumblr, a service founded by David Karp that lets users publish short, simple blog posts, has secured a third round of funding for $5 million. The round, first reported by MediaMemo and confirmed to VentureBeat by Karp, was led by existing investors Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures.

Peer-to-peer lending site Prosper raises funding from Google CEO

Even with venture investing down in recent months, peer-to-peer lending companies don’t seem to have any problem securing funding. Prosper, one of the first peer-to-peer lending companies, today announced it a fourth round of funding for $14.5 million led by TomorrowVentures, the firm financed by Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and CompuCredit Holdings.

With Lightbank, Groupon founders spread their wings as Chicago's angels

Where I’ve Been, developers of a Facebook application that lets friends discuss travel plans, today announced it has secured Series A funding — its first formal round — for $750,000. While the size of the round is smaller than an angel round of $1 million raised in 2008, the investors are interesting: They’re Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, through their recently launched investment fund Lightbank.

Lending Club grabs $25M more for peer-to-peer lending

Lending Club, a network for lending by individuals to individuals, today announced that it has secured a third round of funding for $25 million. It has raised $53 million in total. The new round of funding will be used to further development of the peer-to-peer lending platform and new products for existing and new customers.

Elance report: Freelance is the new full-time

While the national unemployment rate hovers at 10 percent, one segment of the workforce may be in higher demand than ever. Elance, a web-based network for freelance internet workers released a company report today showing a 40 percent increase in the amount earned by its community of freelancers year over year.

Jetcast's new UniversalPlayer boasts built-in app store

Jetcast, a startup whose tools help Internet radio and television broadcasters make money, today announced the launch of a new media player, UniversalPlayer. The new media player gives broadcasters and advertisers something that previously only giants like Google and Apple might have: a built-in app store.

E-book startup Wattpad unveils upgraded site

Popular e-book community Wattpad today announced that it plans to launch a redesigned website tomorrow. The new, which can be seen here in beta testing, has a much cleaner look and user interface. The site will also host several enhanced user functions, including advanced search, social elements, and multimedia support.

Google's Episodic buy could make YouTube ready for its closeup

Finally, April Fool’s Day is over and we can get back to real news. While Google may have pulled a few pranks yesterday, today it’s all business. Episodic, an online-video hosting company based in San Francisco, today announced that is has been aquired by Google, according to the company’s blog. No financial information was disclosed.

Shazam brings music discovery to App Store for iPad

While there’s still one day to go till Apple’s much-anticipated iPad officially hits stores, a wave of device specific applications have begun to appear in the App Store. Shazam, a music discovery service, today announced that it’s Shazam app for iPad is now available on the App Store.