Karmel Larson, Momni founder and CEO, poses with Nate McBride, partner at Tamarak Capital, during Momni's funding announcement in December 2018.

Momni closes $1.75 million funding round

Momni, Inc. of Springville recently secured additional funding of more than $1.75 million to expand its “caresharing” app, which connects moms to moms for premium childcare in their own neighborhoods and communities. This recent round brings the female-led tech company’s total fundraising to more than $2 million. The round was led by Utah’s Tamarak Capital, investors from RevRoad and angel investors.

According to a press release, the funding will allow the Momni team to greatly expand product features and launch its growing careshare-platform into new geographic regions.

“I am so grateful for all the support I’ve received as Momni has taken off,” said Karmel Larson, Momni founder and CEO. “Statistics show that it’s hard for female startup founders to get funding, and I am encouraged by the overwhelming interest we’ve received to help moms worldwide support one another with a cutting-edge and network-based child care platform.”

According to a June 7 Fortune article, female founders secured only 2.2 percent of all venture capital in 2017. The article further cited a study released by the Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge, a network of startup accelerators, which found “that the average female-founded startup received $935,000 in funding, compared to $2.1 million awarded to the average male-founded startup.” This is despite the fact that data points to female-founded startups performing better, bringing in 78 cents on the dollar in five years compared to 31 cents for men.

Larson considers Momni’s recent round to be an encouraging step in the right direction for female entrepreneurship, although female founders still encounter difficulty in raising funds. Nate McBride, partner at Tamarak Capital, knows the value of female-led companies.

“Few things are as socially significant as what Momni is focused on,” McBride said in a press release. “Momni is making a difference for families worldwide by harnessing technology to both improve the quality and accessibility of childcare in our communities — all while allowing Moms an additional source of income to improve their own lives. We have been so impressed with the Momni team, their product, and the impressive traction they’ve generated so quickly. They are a very talented team, working on a significant challenge, and we are proud to work with them in solving it for good.”

Larson was inspired to start Momni after learning about the global child care crisis in 2017. The company released iPhone and Android apps earlier this year to help moms connect with one another digitally.

KI names new furniture distribution agent

KI, a Green Bay, Wisconsin manufacturer of furniture and moveable wall system solutions for education, healthcare, government and corporate markets, announced Julie Wissler was named a distribution agent for the Utah area.

In her new role, Wissler will work to provide dealers, architects, designers, and end users throughout the state of Utah with KI’s furniture solutions. Wissler will market and distribute KI products through her firm, Interior Products Group, a wholesale distributor of furniture products.

“We’re thrilled to have Julie on board,” said Peter Goerdt, regional vice president of KI’s Western region. “I’m confident her expertise will serve KI well as the company continues to grow its presence in Utah.”