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Chumby maker nets cutest Series B round ever

Chumby Industries, which manufactures the Wi-Fi-enabled, RSS-fed gadget, pulls in $12.5 million in a funding round.

Chumby Industries, manufacturer of the eponymous huggable touch-screen Wi-Fi widget gadget, announced Monday that it has raised $12.5 million in Series B venture funding. The lead investor in the round was JK&B Capital, but existing investors Avalon Ventures, Masthead Venture Partners, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also contributed.

A friendly-looking device that you configure online, the Chumby cycles through a rotation of custom widgets from weather to Google Calendar to cult-hit shopping site Many of these come from the Chumby Network, a platform of user- and partner-created applications that can be added to the little gadgets.

Rafe Needleman/CNET Networks

It's also, aside from the touch screen, soft and squishy.

Formally, the new Chumby cash will be used to "accelerate growth of the company, and expand and broaden the Chumby Network to other screen-based Internet connected devices." Does that mean they'll make a Chumby kitten or a Chumby penguin?

"We are pleased to receive this financing, which will enable us to execute our vision and grow distribution of the Chumby Network," Stephen Tomlin, founder and CEO of Chumby Industries, said in a statement. "As the next step of our strategy, we will focus on establishing relationships to broaden distribution to other screen-based devices such as digital photo frames and LCD TVs."

Oh. So much for the touch-screen penguins.