Posted July 23, 2007 10:21 am by with 4 comments

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hi5 may not be high up on your social networking radar – it barely registers a blip on mine – but that might change with the company receiving $20 million in its first round of venture capital.

According to Om Malik:

Hi5, a San Francisco-based social networking start-up is said to have raised about $20 million in its latest round of funding. The VC firm involved in this round of funding is said to be Mohr Davidow Ventures…The company co-founded by Ramu Yalamanchi, started out as a social-network-plus matrimonial site targeting the Indian diaspora, but later morphed into a social network, and since then has gained popularity in some Latin American countries, Mongolia, Tunisia and Romania.

hi5 In a quest to find out more, I headed to the hi5 site to see if I could figure out if it could challenge MySpace and Facebook. Unfortunately, I’m still scratching my head, apart from Sean Kingston (and his “Beautiful Girls”), I didn’t find anything that would make me believe hi5 could compete with the big dogs. A quick look at data from Lightspeed Venture Partners and things don’t look much better – hi5 is way behind in terms of average pages visits and pages per visitor.

Still, social networking is hot and trendy. $20M is a small investment, if the company can get to 1/10 the valuation of Facebook.

  • Study Guide

    Here in Sweden, hi5 is pretty huge. I do hate their ingenious e-marketing though. First time “spam” actually made me sign up to something, there are truly some potentials here. Although, IMO, the marketing has been better than the service it self.

  • Jeff

    I’ve had a membership there for years that I almost never use after receiving and invite from a friend I met through Yahoo!360.

    Whatever hi5’s shortcomings, they can’t be as bad as

    I got sucked into when I received an email from them that had a return address (no lie). Since I have been invited down to the Yahoo! campus based on my interaction with Yahoo! staffers about their “social Web” business model, I mistakenly thought the email was on the up-and-up and assumed that was an acquisition or some sort of incubator project.

    When I clicked-through the link to the main page, it invited me to “Log In with Your Yahoo! User ID,” and if being co-branded with Yahoo! wasn’t the site’s intent, then the Web master sure did a poor job not making it look like a co-branded Yahoo! property. Once I “logged-on” with my Yahoo! ID and password, the site emailed everyone in my Yahoo! address book not just one invitation, but persistent follow-ups that read included the lines like:

    “Don’t you want to be Jeff’s friend?” and “You don’t want Jeff to think you’re ignoring him, do you?”

    These were sent to my professional contacts and coworkers as well as my friends and family, all of whom were treated to a wide array of end-user profiles when they clicked-through to the main page. Now, the Web is what it is, but if I were running a social networking site, I think I would try to keep the profiles of transvestites and swingers off my main page, but that’s just me.

  • jimbit

    hmm.. i prefer myspace but i will try hi5 later..

    jimbit’s last blog post..The Click Five – Flipside Mp3 N Lyrics


    hi 5 community keep increasing and i bet it will challenge myspace someday’s last blog post..Sean Kingston – Red Dress Mp3 N Lyrics