Mobli, which is backed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and big-name U.S. 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.
Mobli expects to share revenue with publishers from advertising as well as earn money from ads on its own site.
The company started as a photo-sharing rival to Instagram and attracted 20 million users. That was the stepping stone to building the search engine over a three-year period, with Hogeg recruiting experts in computer vision and natural language processing from the defence industry.

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.