Written by Lizette Chapman
Original article here.
When it comes to sharing video, users are often stingy.
Mobile photo- and video-sharing app company Mobli Inc. has found its users overwhelmingly choose photos over video and has raised $22 million in funding from individuals to fine tune its app and wait for the sector to mature.
“The amount was a function of the understanding that we’re in it for the long run,” said Mobli Senior Vice President Gil Eyal, noting that although Mobli users now post 200 to 300 photos for every one video, he believes that ratio will eventually change. “It may happen in five years, it may happen in one. Nobody in the industry has figured out what’s the right way to do video yet.”
It’s not for lack of effort or funding. Hoping to find the video equivalent of Twitter or Instagram, investors have backed a handful of video start-up networks during the past year, including Viddy Inc ., Socialcam Inc . and Tout Inc.
Based in New York with an engineering office in Tel Aviv, Mobli also attracted early attention, raising $4 million from actor Leonardo DiCaprio shortly after launching.
Kazakhstan businessman Kenges Rakishev invested $20 million of the recent Series B round with an additional $2 million from previous investors including Mr. DiCaprio. Actor Tobey Maguire, tennis star Serena Williams and biking legend Lance Armstrong are also investors in Mobli, bringing total outside investment to date to $28 million. Valuation was north of $100 million.
The cash will be used to bankroll a build a new version of the app with more features, improve content generation and curation and launch a big marketing campaign, starting first in New York.
Mr. Eyal said the company has been collecting data on virtually everything it can and the biggest challenge now is sorting through all the information to understand what it means.
Mobli is pre-revenue with plans to monetize in about six months through advertising, sale of virtual goods and licensing its APIs to third parties, My. Eyal said.
Write to Lizette Chapman at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @zettewil