MediAvataar's News Desk
Anghami, the leading music streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa, merges with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. to become first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ New York
Anghami will become the first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ New York via a merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. (NASDAQ: VMAC), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company that raised $100 million in its August 2020 initial public offering.
● The transaction implies an initial pro-forma enterprise valuation of approximately $220 million, or 2.5x 2022 estimated revenues.
● The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of 2021.
SHUAA Capital psc. (DFM: SHUAA), the UAE’s premier publicly listed asset management and investment banking firm and Vistas Media Capital Singapore, the parent of the sponsor for Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc., have gathered commitments of a combined $40 million ($30 million from SHUAA and $10 million from Vistas Media Capital) in PIPE financing. SHUAA also led a funding round for Anghami earlier in the year.
Anghami, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is currently backed by leading MENA venture capital firms and strategic shareholders, including media groups and telecommunications companies that collectively own approximately 68% of Anghami, with the balance owned by the founders.
Anghami is a high growth digital media entertainment technology company, collecting over 56 million data points on its users daily. Anghami uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve recommendations, reduce churn, drive engagement and predict user behavior.
Founded in 2012, Anghami is the first music-streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and has since built a market-leading platform, offering more than 57 million songs to more than 70 million registered users with around 1 billion streams per month.
Anghami has grown revenues 80% over the last three years and is expected to increase five-fold over the next three years. The Company expects to have approximately $142 million of cash on its balance sheet at closing to be used primarily to fuel additional growth.
Anghami Inc. (“Anghami” or the “Company”), the leading music streaming platform and service in the Middle East and North Africa and Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. (NASDAQ: VMAC), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company led by CEO F. Jacob Cherian and co-founders Saurabh Gupta and Abhayanand Singh, announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will result in Anghami becoming the first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ. The transaction implies a pro-forma enterprise value of $220 million. The combined company will operate under the Anghami name and will trade under the new symbol “ANGH.” The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of 2021.
Founded in 2012, by Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib, Anghami is the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region. Anghami has built a market-leading platform, offering more than 57 million songs to more than 70 million registered users with around 1 billion streams per month. With an Arabic speaking population of over 450 million globally, a listing on NASDAQ allows Anghami to scale its user base and invest in technology to build on its data play.
Anghami's AI and machine learning algorithms process over 56 million data points from its user base every day. Over nine years of user data enables the Company to predict user behavior and trends to focus its investments in areas delivering the highest return on investment - which helps improve monetization - and will continue to be a key driver of revenues going forward.
The Company has long standing partnerships with all major global labels including Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Anghami is a music app and platform that offers listeners in the MENA region unlimited Arabic and international music to stream and download. Anghami has licensing agreements with thousands of independent labels and distributors to provide users with legal access to a vast catalog of music. Anghami has a physical presence in major countries in the MENA region to establish and maintain strong partnerships with labels, creators, brands and telecommunication companies. In addition, the Company has established direct partnerships with 36 telecommunication companies across the MENA region to boost free user acquisitions and facilitate subscriptions achieving the highest paying conversion rate in emerging markets.
The Company is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”), and has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh. It is supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (“ADIO”), the Abu Dhabi government’s investment attraction and development hub, which partnered with Anghami as part of its Innovation Programme, to develop its global headquarters and a technology and R&D center in Abu Dhabi.
The Company’s international head of partnerships is LA-based music industry entrepreneur and manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, the CEO of XO Records (the label which he co-founded with The Weeknd whom he also manages) and of SALXCO, his management firm. Slaiby has been instrumental in formulating international partnerships and strategies to build an international fanbase and bridge the Middle East, North Africa and global markets.
Anghami is currently backed by leading MENA venture capital firms and strategic shareholders, including media groups and telecommunications companies that collectively own approximately 68% of Anghami, with the balance owned by the founders.
Anghami’s proven management team led by co-founder and CEO Eddy Maroun will continue to operate and manage Anghami following the transaction. Co-founder and Chairman Elie Habib will continue as the CTO. F. Jacob Cherian, CEO of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. is expected to join the Company as Co-CEO for a period of one year.
Co-founder and CEO of Anghami, Eddy Maroun, commented, “Today is a very exciting day for all of us at Anghami and our partners globally. Elie and I co-founded the company in 2012 with a vision for Anghami to be a first of its kind, digital media entertainment technology platform in the MENA region. Today, we have taken a significant step forward in our growth plans in seeking to become the region’s first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ. Being a U.S. listed public company gives us access to growth capital and a global platform that is the best in the world.”
Elie Habib, Co-founder, Chairman and CTO of Anghami, added, “We’re proud of the product and technology we’ve been able to build and now we will have the ability to invest more in R&D and innovate providing a product that goes beyond music to immersive experiences around media and entertainment while remaining relevant to our users and focused on our local edge.”
App Annie, the mobile data and analytics company helping brands and publishers create winning experiences on mobile, announces the annual Top Publisher Award winners which recognize the most successful mobile companies around the world.
In 2020, consumers relied more on their personal devices to connect, play and escape. The Top Publisher Award truly reflects the trend, with gaming and streaming sectors dominating the charts.
Driven by their hit games, publishers saw tremendous growth with Lilith (#12), Roblox (#19), Moon Active (#23) and Scopely (#28) all moving up more than ten places. These titles included Rise of Kingdoms, ROBLOX, Coin Master, and MARVEL Strike Force, respectively. With consumers craving social interactions, games integrating social elements such as Roblox, are gaining explosive popularity.
Stay at home restrictions saw consumers spending more time on video. Amazon (#38) saw strong gains in app purchase revenue from both popular streaming services Twitch and Amazon Prime Video. Disney (#22) also rose nine ranks with Disney+ introduced in more markets globally.
China-based Tencent (#1) and NetEase (#2) held the top spots for now four consecutive years with their hit Battle Royale titles Game For Peace and Knives Out. Playrix(#3) jumped four positions to number 3 with Casual Puzzle Games Gardenscapes - New Acres and Fishdom: Deep Dive leading the way.
Publishers headquartered in Asia Pacific dominated the list and make up more than half (31) of The Top 52. With 16, the United States had the most top publishers of any country, followed closely by China with 15.
“Through passion, we unite — through connection, we thrive! First and foremost, we offer our most sincere gratitude to our players and App Annie. NetEase Games will continue our endeavors to create innovative games and provide the most satisfying gaming experience to gamers worldwide.” - Matt Liu, Senior Global Publishing & Marketing Director, NetEase Games
“It is a privilege to be awarded by our trusted partner App Annie this year. The Playrix team is happy that our games have brought a lot of joy to our customers around the globe during the pandemic. And this year we will focus on bringing even more through our new games.” Maxim Kirilenko, Senior Business Development Director, Playrix
“We’re honored to be recognized with the Top Publisher award and truly see this as a celebration of our players,” said Daniel Alegre, President and COO of Activision Blizzard. “We have the best player communities across our Activision, Blizzard, and King games, who inspire our teams throughout the year. We look forward to bringing more content and experiences to our fans this year.” - Daniel Alegre, President and COO of Activision Blizzard
“We congratulate these exceptional leaders from across the world,” said Theodore Krantz, Chief Executive Officer of App Annie. “With mobile accelerating at an even faster rate than anticipated, publishers must engage with this audience to stay relevant.”
WPP announces that Wunderman Thompson has acquired NN4M, a leading mobile commerce partner for global brands.
Offering innovative and cutting-edge commerce services for retailers, NN4M provides its clients with connected, experience-driven solutions across mobile and in-store channels.
The acquisition is in line with WPP’s accelerated growth strategy and focused M&A approach to build on existing capabilities in growth areas such as marketing technology and ecommerce.
Forming part of Wunderman Thompson Commerce, NN4M will strengthen the global ecommerce consultancy’s multichannel offering. As a leader in digital solutions, NN4M builds bespoke commerce applications for brands across multiple touchpoints, including smartphone, tablet, apps and in-store experiences.
Headquartered in Edinburgh, NN4M employs 50 people across multiple markets and regions. It works with some of the largest and most successful commerce brands, including Selfridges & Co., Nestlé and River Island, to drive loyalty, increase customer engagement and grow revenue.
Penske Media Corporation (PMC) announced a new partnership with YT Media, one of China’s leading media and art companies, launching the Chinese Edition of Rolling Stone.
Under a multiyear license, Rolling Stone China will feature original and syndicated content tailored to a booming consumer market and providing a new lifestyle brand to China’s Y-generation and 600 million online music consumers.
Rolling Stone China’s launch issue, out now, features cover stars Zhang Chu and Roy Wang, as well as Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift in “Musicians on Musicians” interviews. This debut issue will be followed by a series of corresponding core products and experiences including: a website, WeChat, Weibo, Bilibili channels, events, and quarterly print issues.
“The opportunity to share our content and experiences with our biggest fans in China is truly exciting,” said Gus Wenner, President and Chief Operating Officer, Rolling Stone. “This new partnership is a great way for us to show all that Rolling Stone has to offer on an international scale as we continue to grow.”
“Today, with the support of Penske Media Corporation and the trust of Rolling Stone, I am honored to lead our young team to develop the business of Rolling Stone China,” said Xu Ning, Founder, YT Media. “We hope that through music, art, and love for this brand, Rolling Stone China will become the lighthouse of modern culture.”
Rolling Stone China will further strengthen PMC’s presence across its portfolio of brands in this ever-important region. Other PMC titles with Chinese editions include: WWD China, Variety China and Robb Report China.
HT Media owned Fever FM has increased its ad rates to Pre-Covid levels across all its markets including the likes of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. The new rates are effective immediately.
The last financial year has been challenging for the media industry at large. Radio in particular witnessed a year of softness owing to the pandemic and the overall macroeconomic uncertainties and liquidity crisis. The limited advertising spends by commercial advertisers and muted government ads significantly added to the slowdown in the revenues.
As the country is opening up, we are slowly seeing an increase in Radio advertising volumes, back to pre covid levels, as advertisers get back to normalcy and reinvest in business growth. In view of the same, Fever FM has announced its decision to increase the ad rates to Pre-Covid levels.
Commenting on the decision, Ramesh Menon, CEO, Fever FM said “After a tough 2020, businesses are entering 2021 with a renewed sense of optimism. The vaccination is entering phase 2 and will act as a shot in the arm in boosting the overall buyer sentiment. One remarkable thing that has stayed during these challenging times has been the growth in radio listenership. Fever FM in particular has been consistently displaying promising growth and maintaining its leadership position as the No.1 Bollywood station across Delhi, Mumbai Bangalore & Kolkata. With advertising volumes and demand back, we do believe its time for ad rates to move up as well.”