I'm In Like With You, a social-network-turned-gaming-site that caught a brief flurry of press for its eye-popping design when it launched, has just closed a $1.5 million round of venture funding led by Spark Capital. It's the first funding the site has received since its angel round last year.
In addition to Spark, the round includes current investors Baseline Ventures, Betaworks, and veteran investor Ron Conway, as well as an investment from Netscape and Ning founder Marc Andreessen.
The funding round was widely rumored as the site--having failed to live up to the hype it first generated as a flirty social network--started rebranding itself as a hub for social games but would clearly need more funding (or a corporate parent) to do so. Founder Charles Forman, a fixture on the New York digital-media social circuit known forand owning a seemingly endless supply of pink T-shirts, was introduced to Spark's Bijan Sabet through other local young entrepreneurs late last year.
In a phone interview, Sabet praised Forman's creative vision and willingness to completely change the site's direction when he saw a new opportunity in the growing niche of social gaming. I'm In Like With You is keeping its trippy, cartoonish design but the focus is now on multiuser casual games like Blockles, Gemmers, Draw My Thing, and an impending game that involves hamsters.
To complement the funding round, Forman has started expanding his team, including the hire of Skype veteran Poojitha Preena as chief operating officer as well as several game developers. Forman told CNET News.com that the entirety of the $1.5 million would be used to throw a large-scale party, but we think that one's a joke.