Famigo, the Austin-based startup building a directory of family-oriented and kid-friendly mobile apps, announced today that it has raised $1 million in funding led by Silverton Partners. Also participating in the round were Zilker Ventures, Liahona Ventures, and CapitalFactory.
The company, which currently offers an online directory of apps as well as parental control software for Android, says it will use the new funding to help continue development of its platform and expand access worldwide.
With the ever-growing size of the mobile application stores, both on iOS and Android, a number of companies have sprung up to help curate the apps in new ways. Some provide search engine-like interfaces (like the recent Apple acquisition Chomp), while others provide social recommendations (like Crosswalk), and others still create their own directories (like Appolocious).
Famigo’s app directory shares the most in common with the latter, although its focus on kid-friendly apps means it’s also similar to efforts like KinderTown, for example.
KinderTown, I’ll admit, has been a personal favorite since its launch last year, as it curates the iTunes App Store for quality, educational-focused apps, vetted by former teachers. Famigo also supports iOS in terms of app curation, but goes further by supporting Android as well. On Famigo, apps are rated not by popularity, as they are on app stores, but by how family-friendly they are, using metrics like educational value, level of entertainment, age-appropriateness, etc.
The startup also offers parental control software for Android owners, called “Sandbox,” which helps parents lock down devices so kids can build wishlists of apps, but not purchase them. The software loads up a customized kid-friendly interface, but requires a password to exit back to the Android homescreen.
Famigo, which launched last fall, is one of many new startups to address the “kids with smartphones” market. At this week’s YC Demo Day, for example, a company called Kyte also launched a solution to turn Android phones into kid-safe devices. More on that here.