I dunno guys @waxpancake @seanbonner. I don't have anything to add about the lack of disclosure (which is lame) and am not here to defend these guys, but on principle I think someone ought to present the other side on this. As someone who's been through a few rounds of financing recently, I am pretty sure taking $435K from a $25M niche fund in Vermont does not put them on a VC death spiral or make an ad-supported surveillance business an inevitability.
On the contrary, one could make the case that a little bit of capital in the awkward stage between initial uptake and realized revenue model makes them all the more stable and likely to survive.
FreshTracks has a history of funding at least one editorially sacrosanct magazine that spurned ad revenue (admittedly, now sold to a large media concern). While it's safe to presume that there are expectations of a future return, it's highly likely given the deal size that the founders maintain substantial -- if not total de facto -- control.
My guess is they could still drive this to a user-supported revenue model if they want to, and the fund behind a deal this small can't block them from doing so, force them to raise money from big VC, or otherwise require them to mortgage their souls in an effort to "go big or go home".
Whether they choose to or not is, of course, another thing entirely.