Seen as a competitor to Instagram, Israel’s app Molbi, a mobile picture and video sharing platform, received $60M funding from Carlos Slim, Mexican billionaire, for visual search engine.
An application for iPhone and Android, Mobli would also get distribution with America Movil (NYSE: AMX), a teleco giant in Latin America, led by Slim, accessing its 60 million smartphone users among 240 million mobile subscribers worldwide. Mobli had raised approximately $28 million, of which $22 million of the money has come from private investor Kenges Rakishev, and approximately $6.5 million from celebrities ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio, Toby Maguire, and Serena Williams.
Will Mobli be successful?
Mobli is a real-time visual media platform made up of subject-based channels such as people, places and topics that would allow people to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It is like Instagram but with extra features like hash tagging for locations and a direct messaging service. It follows the same monetization model as Instagram through sponsorship and advertising.
Founder and CEO Moshiko Hogeg got the idea for the app when he attended a concert where fans held up smartphones. He wished to experience the concert from another angle, like a better seat. If not out of curiosity, the hunger for connection and expression will drive traffic to the Mobli app.
Currently, Mobli has about 5 million active monthly users, and 12 million registered users. Instagram mobile app has been downloaded 150 million times.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) paid $1 billion for Instagram, which has 150+ million users globally. It is important to note that Mobli has a huge market in Brazil, followed by Mexico. Where will the Mobli app go? And will it capture history by becoming one of the most popular visual media platforms? The world can certainly connect to find out