STARTUP

Leonardo DiCaprio Invests in Photo-Sharing App

The actor led a $4 million seed round and joined the company's board of advisers.

socialtimes.com

DiCaprio says, “I’m very excited to be a part of Mobli, a company that is groundbreaking – that is taking an active role in revolutionizing the way people interact with visual information, whether they are creating or consuming it. Mobli allows people from all over the world to share moments.”

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Leonardo DiCaprio is betting that photo-sharing start-up Mobli won't sink like the Titanic.

The company announced that the actor led their $4 million seed round. He'll also become an advisor.

The year-old company has offices in New York and Israel. Its app allows users in real time to share photos and videos, which are automatically tagged by location. (The user can also add descriptive tags.) So at a football game, for example, you could easily locate photos from different angles. Users can also search by keyword or place.

"Mobli is like having a friend at every event or location you find interesting, feeding you real-time, multimedia content," founder and CEO Moshe Hogeg explained when the app debuted in May. "We created smartphone applications and a website that delivers the best of what social media was intended to be by enabling people to bring experiences and events to life for others with shared interests. At its essence, Mobli lets you watch real-time channels created by your friends, family and other people wherever they are."

DiCaprio has used the service himself seven times, though he's already got 8,000 followers. His foundation has posted 24 times. Together the 31 posts have pulled in 163,244 views–which can only bolster his investment. Other celebrities using the service: Paris Hilton and David Arquette. The company says 10,000 new people are signing up daily.

Pre-DiCaprio, TechCrunch already predicted Mobli would be the "breakout photo-sharing app of the year" and that its filters "not only put every other photo app’s on the defense, they set a new bar for user convenience and possibilities for brands."

The company also has some eye-popping numbers that may just propel it to being king of the (photo sharing) world: Users are spending an average of 33 minutes on the site per day (and this was back in June), and are sharing some 3.4 new photos daily.

Mobli is not modest. When the app debuted, the company declared it "what Twitter should have been."

Hogeg's previous projects include Web2sport, which allows for interactive fan-managed sports teams (Hapoel Kiryat Shalom F.C., a Tel Aviv club). Registered users of the website vote on all playing-related decisions. Hogeg said he was inspired to found that company after watching the World Cup in 2006. Web2sport bought the team for about $450,000 in June 2007.

 

 

Last updated: Oct 26, 2011

COURTNEY RUBIN

Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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