January 2, 2008, Updated September 13, 2012

Hooja lets clients use the messaging capabilities of their cell phone to plug into the web wherever they go.Using the Internet, it’s possible to stay connected nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But what if you’re away from your PC or laptop? Israeli start-up Hooja has the answer: a search and networking function that tethers your mobile phone to the World Wide Web.

Hooja is a personalized search applet that lets you use your mobile phone to capture information on the go and save it in a central online account you can access anytime and anywhere.

Founded one year ago, the company’s software is still available only as a restricted (or stealth) beta version, but it is already garnering a great deal of attention. The company just raised $1.5 million from a number of prominent investors, including San Francisco venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who in 2004 was one of the first entrepreneurs to sink money into the fledgling site Facebook.

Other investors, according to VentureBeat include Stanford computer science Professor Yuval Shahar and prominent Californian Jewish community identity Pascal Levensohn.

Hooja, which plans to set up R&D headquarters in Israel, was founded by Israeli Cornell graduate Naama Moran. The site will allow clients to use the messaging capabilities of their cell phone to plug into the web wherever they go.

If a user is stuck in traffic, for example, and suddenly remembers that Grandma’s birthday is next Tuesday, or notes that an inviting new bar has opened up on the next street, they can publish a reminder to the Internet to help them recall it later.

Using Hooja, it will be possible to get directions to any restaurant or store whose details you have saved, and navigate through hyperlinks to get more details or reviews about a product or a service of particular interest.

Even better, says company management, Hooja will allow you to share all this information with your friends, “linking the physical world with the digital world.”

For consumers who love to feel connected, those are inviting claims indeed. With a bit of luck, we’ll all be hooja-ing before we know it, and wondering how on earth we survived in the low-tech olden days of 2007.


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