What does the second richest man in the world and Leonardo DiCaprio have in common? Apparently, they both believe in Mobli
Mobli, an Israeli startup and mobile based photo and video-sharing social platform, announced today (Wednesday) the securing of a strategic investment by América Móvil (NYSE: AMX), a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services in the Americas. The investment was made as part of a $60M funding round in the company and will include a business collaboration that will see Mobli’s products introduced to América Móvil’s mobile user base. According to the company, the new funding will be geared toward financing the launch and expansion of Mobli’s visual search.
Big name attraction
Mobli was founded in 2011 by Moshe Hogeg and Yossi Shemesh to be a multi-platform photo and video sharing community focusing on connecting people around common interests by allowing users to follow people, hashtags and even locations, straight to their feed. The company quickly racked up the funding early in its life-cycle picking up $2.4M in seed from private investors and another $4M from actor turned investor Leonardo DiCaprio – all within its first year of operations. The next year it landed a $22M investment from Kazak Tycoon, Kenges Rakishev.
Small user base attraction
This latest investment brings the company’s total investment value to date to $88.4M. That’s quite a treasure haul for a three year old mobile media sharing platform. With user numbers appearing to reside somewhere in the single digit millions, it makes one wonder where the investment fever is coming from – connections and pull, or a true belief in the product?
Statements by América Móvil Chairman Carlos Slim, Rakishev and DiCaprio – not surprisingly point to the later:
“Mobli has developed a remarkable technology and this strategic alliance will allow América Móvil to bring value added experiences for its users throughout the Americas,” says Slim.
Rakishev echoed Slim’s sentiment stating, “Mobli has shown a passionate focus on tech innovation while building amazing solutions for its users and this partnership will allow each party to focus on its core strength and enhance experiences for their users.”
Finally, DiCaprio weighed in, not deviating much from the script: “I’ve always been excited by Mobli’s mission to connect people around the world through shared visual images. Today’s announcement means that a massive new community of users will be introduced to an incredible experience of discovery and sharing.”
The ultimate question still remains though; will Mobli finally take off to a degree that justifies its investment, or will Slim, Rakishev and DiCaprio wake up one day and wonder what just happened to their $90M. If that question ever does come up, I think DiCaprio himself put it best when he said, “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was strange.” Inception