Business Notes: Aug. 25, 2013

Woodstock — Green Mountain Digital just received a second round of funding that will enable the company to expand its recently launched Yonder application.

Monster Worldwide joined with the Vermont Seed Capital Fund and angle investors to provide Green Mountain Digital with $3.8 million to support Yonder, a free photo-video sharing app focused on outdoor recreation, as well as investment in the company’s nature-oriented NatureShare platform.

Yonder is like Yelp — the app that provides user ratings of restaurants — for such outdoor activities as hiking or kayaking, said David Tyler, who is in charge of the Yonder app.

Through the app, people can post 10-second videos or photographs about good hikes, special places they’ve discovered or other outdoor experiences, Tyler said last week.

Though its software, the company is able to categorize the information and put it in a useful form that allows users can browse experiences by location, popularity and activity type, he said, noting that Yonder’s current database already contains 20,000 outdoor destinations, such as state and national parks as well as locations that have been discovered or recommended by users.

“It’s designed inspire people to get going outside, and it’s fun to use,” he said.

“Green Mountain Digital is successfully capitalizing on the great opportunity today’s social and mobile app marketplace represents, and this is a sound and strategic investment for Monster,” said Sal Iannuzzi, Monster Worldwide’s chairman, president and CEO, in a news release.

Green Mountain Digital was founded in 2009 by CEO David Roberts and Andy Stewart. The company has designed and published more than 30 mobile apps, including Audubon Birds of North America, Orvis Fly Fishing, GardenMinder and Sailing World: Knots and Splices.

In late 2012, the company launched its nature photo-sharing platform, NatureShare, which passed 1 million user logins in July.

The current goal of Yonder is to surpass 1 million users, Tyler said. After that, then the company will likely look at adding some sort of complimentary advertising to generate revenue.

Company News

Cocoa Froyos , a self-serve frozen yogurt restaurant that will also feature what is being advertised as a “chocolate bar creation station,” will be opening on Claremont’s Pleasant Street early next month. Edward Mathson and his nephew, Matthew Baird-Torney, are the partners in the business. “Cocoa” is for chocolate and “Froyos” is short for frozen yogurt, Baird-Torney said.

Patrons will be able to choose their own yogurt and put on their own toppings, ranging from fresh fruit and granola to candy bars. Prices will be based on weight. The creation station will allow customers to build their own chocolate bar, Baird-Torney said. Customers can choose their favorite toppings and then pour chocolate — dark, milk or white — over them in a plastic mold. They can then take it home, or place it in a freezer at Cocoa Froyos.

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