hi5, an also ran social network that most people forgot about long ago, has raised $3 million convertible note from existing investor Mohr Davidow. We’ve confirmed the funding, which was raised a year ago, with the company. This brings the social network’s funding up to $38 million.
Hi5, which has been actively remodeling its site to cater to the gaming industry, says this funding is part of a larger Series B round. Another undisclosed investor will be leading the round. The company just bought gaming startup Big Six. Last fall, the social network launched a totally revamped site that places a much stronger emphasis on games and virtual currency, along with a new avatar system.
As we’ve written in the past, with the massive success of Zynga and Playfish, it makes sense that hi5 would try to create a social network that centers around gaming itself. hi5 has over 60 million members, which is a far cry from Facebook’s 400 million users.
In December, hi5 brought on a new president, gaming industry veteran, Alex St. John, to help lead the social network’s efforts. Earlier in the year, the company suffered from layoffs and also hired a new CEO, Bill Gossman.
Founded in 2003, hi5 today is one of the largest social entertainment sites in the world, with approximately 50 million monthly unique visitors who use the site to stay connected to friends, meet new people, share photos, and play games. Available in over 50 languages, hi5 combines ad-supported social networking features with payment-based premium content to deliver a user experience focused on self-expression and interactivity that appeals to the site’s young demographic (67% of users are age 18-34). Social games, virtual goods, and other premium content on...