Hi5 raises $14 million, Prez tells Facebook to bring it on

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hi5 raises 14 millionYou may be familiar with Hi5, unless you live in Thailand or South America, but the social network continues to bring in the bucks -- 14 million in this latest round -- to put toward its strategy of moving from a plain Jane network to one that embraces social gaming, including a built-in e-commerce system and the promise of free promotion to developers who upload their games to the network.

"This round of financing will fund our continued project development, investment in our commerce platform and gaming partnerships," says a Hi5 source.

The network is working furiously to compete with market leader Facebook, and Hi5 President and CTO Alex St. John (a former Microsoft exec and Wild Tangent founder) throws down the gauntlet in this recent Financial Times interview: "Facebook will make missteps because it wants to be a general-purpose social network and will not focus properly on gaming, leaving it to more specialised [sic] companies like his own Hi5 to produce winning models." Them's fighting words, but we're fairly certain the outspoken St. John is always game for a good fight.
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