Ramu Yalamanchi founded hi5 raises $14 Million

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Bangalore: Gaming focused social network hi5 has secured $14 million in a recent round of funding led by Crosslink Capital. The financing follows an initial financing round of $20 million in July 2007, bringing the total funding to just over $34 million. The previous round was led by Mohr Davidow, which also participated in the current financing.

hi5, which is founded by Ramu Yalamanchi in 2003, will spend the funding to accelerate its social gaming and virtual goods expansion plans. The company introduced virtual goods in December 2008 by launching its hi5 Coins virtual currency and a virtual gifts store. It has also created a Games channel for the social network in February 2009 and Stars animated avatars in last October.

The company, which is remodeling its site to cater to the gaming industry, has recently acquired gaming startup Big Six.

As of now the network has 60 million users globally and it faces competition from fast growing and heavily funded competitors in the social gaming space like Zynga and Playdom.

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