Movie stars and Mobli

Leo DiCaprio invests in Israeli Technology

Leonardo DiCaprio (photo credit: Courtesy)
Leonardo DiCaprio
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Contrary to popular belief, not all celebrities are “ditzy.” If you’ve heard of them - and if they’ve made a fortune in movies or TV - chances are they are sophisticated, intelligent people who know how to market themselves. After all, there is a lot of competition out there.
So when a celeb like Leonardo DiCaprio invested a significant sum into the startup Israeli phone app/website Mobli, you have to figure he knows what he’s doing.
Mobli offers a unique and exciting real-time take on mobile video and photography. When you install the app on your phone, or check out the website, you can actually see what someone else is looking at.According to the company’s website, it all started when founder Moshe (“Moshiko”) Hogeg was at a concert and could barely see the stage because his view was blocked by everyone in better seats holding up their phones to film the show.
“How cool would it be if you could somehow see everyone else’s video from all different angles of the same concert? Not only could he see better videos and photos from better seats, but he could see it from a bunch of different views as it happens!” Hogeg said.
Hogeg and his Mobli team realized the technology could be useful in contexts other than rock concerts, including sports, fashion, news, or just about anything else that interests users. With Mobli, you can see what others are doing on a channel dedicated to a specific interest. You can enjoy and even comment on their photos.
You can search for a channel by keyword or location. If a friend is at a wedding, for example, she can take a photo of the event and automatically have it tagged with the location when she uploads it to the Wedding Channel. You can also search for popular events or photos, or for things that are happening in the moment.
Like any good social media app, you can choose to follow by channel or by user. You can make your own channel to show off your life to friends, family or even people you don’t know. “Everyone is on Facebook, which is fine for sharing photos and videos with people you are friends with,” said Boaz Hecht, who until recently was business development VP for Mobli. “The inherent value of Facebook is to close in on the social network that you know. We allow you to expand beyond that network. Mobli enables even people you don’t know to access your photos, Facebook style.”
DiCaprio’s investment was part of a $4 million second round of financing for Mobli. In its two years of existence, the company has raised $5.6 million and has 30 employees, 17 of them in Israel. According to company statements, Mobli is garnering some 10,000 new users a day.