Israeli start-up Mobli Media Inc is taking on Internet giants Google, Facebook and Yahoo with an innovative online search tool to find the latest photos and videos across social media, the company said on Monday.
Mobli, which is backed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and big-name US celebrity investors Leonardo DiCaprio, Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong and Tobey Maguire, has raised more than $90 million in funding.
The company's EyeIn service allows users to search for pictures and video clips taken by people at concerts, sports events, demonstrations or natural disasters as they post images on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, a unit of Facebook.
Its real-time, location-based search marks a new twist on a well-established category that typically returns a flood of photos or videos based on popularity or other ranking methods or requires users to wade through separate social media feeds to find relevant images.
Top photo sites include photo-sharing pioneer Flickr, a unit of Yahoo, Google Image Search and Facebook, as well as Facebook’s Instagram photo-sharing site.
EyeIn is available as a search website, a downloadable mobile app or as an add-on for publishers to install within their own websites to complement text and other information. Partners for the add-on include AOL Inc's Huffington Post.
EyeIn can scan a story on a news website to calculate what the event is about and create an album of photos that will update itself as the event unfolds.
Mobli will partner some of Slim's companies, though Hogeg would not disclose names. Slim, who owns telecoms group America Movil, is the largest shareholder of New York Times Co.
Other investors in Mobli company include Vic Lee, co-founder of Chinese Internet firm Tencent, and Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev, who invested $22 million. Other investor stakes were not disclosed.