More than a year after reportedly being forced to lay off half of its staff because it was unable to raise new cash, social network Hi5 has raised $14 million in a new round of funding. The cash comes as Hi5, which has more than 50 million registered users , has increasingly been emphasizing social gaming on its site in order to build up virtual goods as a significant revenue stream.
Over the last year and a half, hi5 has announced a number of initiatives to boost the presence of social games; last spring, it entered into a partnership with Mochi Media to boost the number of games on its platform, and, in February, it purchased social game developer Big Six in order to add that company’s payment processing and fraud detection technology. It also hired Alex St. John, the former CEO of casual gamer Wild Tangent, as its president and CTO last fall.
In a statement, Hi5 says it will use the new cash to “accelerate” its expansion into social gaming and virtual goods.
With the new cash, Hi5 will have now raised more than $34 million. The round was led by Crosslink Capital and existing backer Mohr Davidow also participated.