Silicon Prairie News

Business Insider sources: Ashton Kutcher part of Dwolla’s Series B

Des Moines February 29, 2012 by Danny Schreiber

Citing unnamed sources, Business Insider today reported that Iowa native and Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher participated in Dwolla's $5 million Series B round that the startup announced earlier this month.

"Sources tell us Ashton Kutcher, an Iowa native, is the mystery investor," Insider's Alyson Shontell, who also covered Dwolla's Series B, wrote.

When reached by phone this evening, Dwolla's director of communications, Jordan Lampe, declined to comment on the report.

If Insider's story holds true, this would be, to our knowledge, Kutcher's first investment in an Iowa-based company. Kutcher, a Cedar Rapids, Iowa native and one-time student at the University of Iowa, was covered closely by the tech press in 2011 for his investments in tech startups, such as TinyChat, Zaarly (a San Francisco-based startup with a Kansas City office), Milk and Airbnb. There was so much coverage that the Des Moines Business Register's executive business editor, Lynn Hicks, wrote a blog post with the opening line, "Dude, where’s my funding? How about sending some love to entrepreneurs in your home state, Ashton?" Well, according to Business Insider, Kutcher may have done just that.

Also, though not an Iowa-based company today, online textbook rental company Chegg that was launched at Iowa State Univeristy in 2005 (now based in Santa Clara, Calif.) has received Kutcher love in the past. In a September episode of "Two and a Half Men," Kutcher used a laptop covered with startup stickers, one of which was Chegg. Kutcher isn't personally invested in Chegg, Entertainment Weekly reported, but the company receives social media help from the actor's production company, Katalyst.

Head on over to Business Insider to check out its full story – "Dwolla Has A Secret Investor, And He's From Iowa" – and stay tuned to Silicon Prairie News for developments.

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