It’s not often that child television stars go on to launch startups, but today the hottest funding story involved Soleil Moon Frye’s (formerly known as Punky Brewster) new mobile startup that brings DIY projects to parents on-the-fly. She is not the first star-turned-momtrepreneur — fellow actress Jessica Alba founded The Honest Company. What’s next? A vegan baby food delivery startup by Alicia Silverstone? A virtual nursery design studio from Tiffani Amber Thiessan? So many ideas.
Bookshout! raises $6M to amplify authors’ digital voices
Reading is generally a quiet activity, but today Bookshout! is proclaiming that it has raised $6 million. Bookshout offers multiple tools to support reader engagement. On the consumer side, Bookshout has a social reading app where people can find books and connect with their friends and authors. On Bookshout’s platform suite, publishers, and authors can promote their content and deepen engagement with audiences. This is Bookshout’s second round of funding, and it’s significant for the North Texas investment community which the Dallas Morning News called “lackluster.” Read more on VentureBeat.
Startup gets $5M to boost employment in the developing world using phones
Mobile recruitment startup Assured Labor has just raised $5.5 million to help spread its message of employment opportunities via cellphone communication throughout the world. The startup, which got its start at MIT’s MediaLab, focuses on helping people find jobs (and helping recruiters fill vacancies) in emerging markets through the power of simple mobile interfaces. Today’s funding was led by Capital Indigo with participation from existing investors Great Oaks Venture Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Kima Ventures, Enzyme Venture Capital, and others. Read more on VentureBeat.
Punky Brewster-turned-‘momtrepeneur’ raises $2.5M to boost family creativity
TV actress Soleil Moon Frye of Punky Brewster fame is launching a mobile app, Moonfrye, backed by $2.5 million in venture capital. Moonfrye will feature kid-friendly project ideas and connects parents with the materials needed to execute them. The mobile app builds off the website, which features arts-and-crafts project ideas in a Pinterest-style format. The details of the commerce-focused business model have not yet been disclosed. RP Partners led this seed round, with participation from Greycroft, Daher Capital and Google Ventures. Advisors inlude Dan Rosensweig, Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg, Gina Bianchini, Erik Lammerding and Rick Marini. Read more on VentureBeat.
KelDoc, the ‘French ZocDoc,’ scores €700K from Alven Capital
KelDoc, a young French startup that books doctor and dentist appointments online, has just nabbed €700,000 ($913,010) in funding from Alven Capital. KelDoc co-founder Eduardo Ronzano told VentureBeat that the average waiting time to see a doctor in France is between one week and six months. This has led to a substantial rise in people searching for information online about other doctors in the area and trying to book appointments faster. The funding will go toward hiring new members for its sales and technical teams to help it expand more quickly. Read more on VentureBeat.