Hi5 Helped By $20 Million In Funding
In the past week, there have been eight WebProNews stories with the word “Facebook” in the title and five involving “MySpace.” “Hi5” has, as far as I can tell, never been the subject of an article. But in what’s definitely a noteworthy event, that social network just got $20 million.
Well, noteworthy to some of us, anyway – for whatever reason, Hi5 has yet to put out a press release or blog post on the matter. Still, as reported by Om Malik, the “San Francisco-based social networking start-up is said to have raised about $20 million in its latest round of funding.”
Malik goes on to hint at why most people have never heard of this site, writing, “The company . . . 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.”
In other words, Hi5’s not much of a hit in the U.S.
Of course, the American market isn’t the be-all and end-all of social networking – Orkut, for example, is doing all right without us. And speaking of a Google property, there’s a strange similarity between Hi5 and Google.
“My sister-in-law found her mother after 34 years of searching by using Google,” according to a testimonial from “Laurie M.” in Google’s Press Center. “I just thought you’d like to know you helped us find our mom!”
That account’s been there for a while – I’ve often wondered why Google doesn’t update or delete it. Now, in Hi5’s “About Us” section, “Nathan, Belize” states, “Thanks to hi5 I was able to talk to my mother for the first time in 25 years . . . it was the sweetest joy to finally hear each other’s voices.”
Coincidence? I dunno. Malik writes, “If you look at this social networking map of the world, one finds that there are quite a few international-only players. Someone like Google or Yahoo should attempt a large scale consolidation – or at least that is what Hi5’s backers must be hoping for.” Perhaps Nathan’s testimonial is a nudge from Hi5.