Mobli was a social mobile photo and video-sharing website founded by Israeli entrepreneurs and brothers Moshe and Oded Hogeg. As of 2016 the service was shut down and the company placed into bankruptcy.
Mobli's mobile app allows mobile sharing of photos and video recorded on mobile devices to its website where other users can view the content. Users can browse the websites content feeds in real time by location, subject, or uploader.
Hogeg compared the service to Instagram saying, “If the substance of Instagram is effects of pictures and shares, we want to offer the option of seeing what is happening at the Eiffel Tower or at Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium.”
Mobli apps were initially built in HTML5 but this approach was abandoned due to poor performance. The apps were re-built in native code on iOS and Android while dropping support for BlackBerry in favor of Windows Phone. The new apps, also with a re-designed user experience, were slated to roll out in late 2012 starting with its Windows Phone app.
A stand-alone search product that emphasizes location, time and relevance is slated to launch in early 2013. The product has an "autotagging" feature that can recognize and identify certain objects from images.
Mobli was founded in 2010 by Moshe Hogeg, Oded Hogeg, and Emmanuel Merali. Moshe Hogeg was the chief executive officer, Yossi Shemesh was Vice President - Production and Emmanuel Merali was the chief technology officer.
Francis Bea of Digital Trends said Mobli, which he called “[potentially] the YouTube of short-form video,” could succeed in debuting the next generation of Internet personalities with YouTube “beginning to sway under the weight of its own hosted talent.”
Mobli found early success in celebrity investors including American actor Leonardo DiCaprio who supposedly invested $4 million in 2011. It was later revealed that DiCaprio's investment was actually less than $10. DiCaprio's social involvement on the site attracted other celebrities.
In May 2012, CEO Hogeg said the company was prioritizing increasing Mobli's installed base on mobile devices from three million to 10 million before focusing on turning a profit. Hogeg planned to experiment with money-making strategies such as selling virtual goods, promoting sponsored posts and displaying targeted advertising. Mobli partnered with Tropfest to host the festival's first Micro Film Festival contest, run by Mobli investor, actor Tobey Maguire, on Mobli’s TropfestMicro channel, a channel Mobli calls “a film festival in your pocket.” The contest, announced by Maguire in June at Tropfest Las Vegas, uses the designated Mobli channel as the hub for submitting and viewing short-form videos until deadline in January 2013. The best video, selected by panel, receives $10,000 in winnings and will debut at Tropfest Australia 2013.
In July 2012, Mobli announced tennis player Serena Williams had invested an undisclosed amount in Mobli.
In September 2012, Mobli was worth an estimated $100–300 million and Mobli said shared content had tripled over the previous two months. A series B venture round of funding to develop its platform and user base brought in $22 million including $20 million from Kazakhstani businessman Kenges Rakishev. Rakishev's funding earned him a spot on Mobli's board.
In November 2012, a photo of cyclist and Mobli investor Lance Armstrong relaxing in his trophy room and posted to Mobli by Armstrong accumulated more than 320,000 views in two days making it the most trafficked Mobli post for a 48-hour period.
By November 2012, Mobli had received two different acquisition offers.
In June 2015, Mobli launched its flagship product, a real-time image search engine called EyeIn. It was available on the web and as a mobile app. An embeddable plugin of EyeIn has also been piloted by six sites, including The Huffington Post and News Cult. The feature was discontinued after Instagram blocked Mobli from their API.
- Francis Bea (12 June 2012). "Should YouTube be worried? Mobli 'Tropfest Micro' offers amateur filmmakers a spotlight". Digital Trends. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Garett Sloane (28 May 2012). "Techies amp up their revenue machines". New York Post. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- Menachem Greenfield (23 September 2012). "Israeli's Mobli Gets $20 Million from single Kazakh Investor". Jewocity.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.
- Roi Carthy (19 November 2012). "Mobli May Be The Promised Land's Most Promising Startup". TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Roy Goldenberg (26 July 2012). "Serena Williams invests in picture sharing co Mobli". Digital Trends. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Phyllis Furman (24 September 2012). "N.Y.-based mobile photo-sharing site Mobli bags $22 million investment". New York Daily News. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Israel's Startup Hype Master Faces His Toughest Test Yet". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
- Degen Pener (4 June 2012). "Tropfest Short Film Festival Crowns All-Star Winner in Las Vegas (Video)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Brian Anthony Hernandez (18 July 2012). "Lindsay Lohan Movie Turns to Visual Startup Mobli to Cast Actress". Mashable. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
- Ryan Kim (19 September 2012). "Picture app Mobli raises $22M to build visual platform". GigaOm. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Jeff Bercovici (12 November 2012). "Lance Armstrong's Trolling Juices Mobli's Traffic". Forbes. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- TechCrunch. "Instagram Competitor Mobli Gets $60M From Carlos Slim To Build A Visual Search Engine". Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- Catherine Shu, TechCrunch. “After Three Years In Development, Mobli Unveils Real-Time Image Search Engine EyeIn.” June 15, 2015. June 15, 2015.
- Bort, Julie (1 June 2016). "This founder launched a $14,000 smartphone immediately after laying off employees at his other startup". Business Insider. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
Sources are telling us that this represents all of Mobli's remaining Israeli employees, though Hogeg insists that the company is not being closed down entirely. He says he is retaining an R&D team in Europe.