July 13, 2010 10:00 ET
hi5 Closes $14 Million Second Round of Venture Financing
New Investor, Crosslink Capital, Leads With Participation by Mohr Davidow
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - July 13, 2010) - hi5, one of the world's most popular social entertainment sites, has closed a new round of venture capital financing of over $14 million. The company's second round of institutional venture financing was led by Crosslink Capital. Jim Feuille, General Partner at Crosslink, will join the hi5 board of directors.
"hi5 is among the companies leading and defining the rapidly emerging social entertainment category, and this round will enable us to fully capitalize on what is already a massive market opportunity," said Bill Gossman, CEO of hi5. "Crosslink has been at the forefront of this revolution with investments in Pandora and Like.com as well as successful public market experience with Omniture and Ancestry.com, so we are thrilled to have Jim's expertise joining the company."
The financing follows an initial venture round of $20 million in July 2007, bringing the total venture capital raised to just over $34 million. The previous round was led by Mohr Davidow, which also participated in the current financing. The new funding will accelerate hi5's expansion into social gaming and virtual goods, which it initiated in December 2008 with the launch of the hi5 Coins virtual currency and virtual gifts store, the hi5 Games channel in February 2009, and hi5 Stars animated avatars in October 2009.
"The social entertainment category is experiencing explosive growth, and hi5 has the global audience, strategic vision and seasoned management team to be a significant long-term leader in this market," said Jim Feuille, General Partner at Crosslink. Feuille serves on the board of Pandora, and played an important role in the transformation of its massive entertainment site. "hi5's unique combination of social game mechanics, ownership of a social graph and a third-party game platform positions the company well for success."
About Crosslink Capital
Founded in 1989, Crosslink Capital is a leading multi-stage technology venture capital and growth equity firm with over $1.4 billion in capital under management. Crosslink was among the first investment firms in the U.S. to integrate public and private technology investing. This strategy allows Crosslink to partner with its portfolio companies on a long-term basis. With more than 20 years behind it, Crosslink Capital has invested in over 90 private equity portfolio companies, including such industry leaders as Ancestry.com, Equinix, BlueArc, Magma Design Automation, Miller Heiman, Pandora and Yipes (acquired by Reliance Communications). For more information on Crosslink, visit http://www.crosslinkcapital.com.
Founded in 2003, hi5 today is among the top 20 largest web sites in the world and the leading destination site focused on social entertainment and gaming. Combining a robust social platform with premium content and game mechanics, hi5 delivers a fun, expressive, and interactive entertainment experience to millions of users around the world. Available in over 50 languages, the site features localized games, virtual goods and other content that is monetized through hi5 Coins, a global virtual currency supporting over 60 payment methods and 30 currencies worldwide. For more information on hi5, visit http://www.hi5networks.com.
hi5 and the hi5 logo are trademarks of hi5 Networks, Inc. All other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners.