A MENA-based celebrity platform Minly which functions as a media and entertainment startup has reportedly announced that it has successfully acquired Oulo, a Dubai-based celebrity shoutout platform, for an undisclosed fee.
Meanwhile, the latest development is coming six months after Egypt’s Minly secured a $3.6 million seed round, as such, the source of an impressive year of growth that saw the platform – which connects fans with musicians, athletes coupled with stars via personalized experiences, also, in addition, acquired 130,000 users including 1,000 celebrities in over a year.
In another dimension, Oulo, which was founded in 2020 by ‘Kamal Nazha’ is a video gifting platform that at the moment has more than 300 celebrities in different markets, notably Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
In view of the latest, the merger business is believed to operate under the Minly brand while rolling out its combined experience offerings across the GCC region. However, looking at the deal from a transaction perspective will see Nazha join Minly as the chief commercial officer.
The MENA is known as a region that consists of over 450 million people, which one out of three from the subject region fall between the age of 18 – 30, yet a group that is deeply connected to social media and fast contributing more to the global creator economy. As such, Minly is optimizing its solution aimed at capturing a budding audience in the MENA region. Furthermore, a source familiar with the matter equally learnt that Minly had previously planned to build local celebrity acquisition teams across MENA and the GCC, according to Minly CEO ‘Mohamed EI-Shinnawy’.
“Whilst Minly’s expansion in the GCC market was possible without Oulo, this acquisition has significantly accelerated our expansion there”, EI-Shinnawy made clear when asked why the company acquired Oulo instead of expanding on its own. “Our mission is to become the number one creator economy platform in the region, and speed to market is critical to achieving this”.
Equally, EI-Shinnawy also stated that the latest deal adds critical assets to Minly – Oulo’s roster of tier-1 pan-Arab Levantian stars, believed to be its strategic partnerships and team that can support Minly’s existing team, both within the Levant and beyond.
“Historically, the majority of pan-Arab celebrities were either Egyptian or Lebanese. Therefore, combing forces unlocks immense synergies as, together, we dominate the two most important sources of cultural content”, Nazha said.
While the latest deal which cuts across Minly-Oulo is in the meantime viewed as the second major acquisition between an African and a GCC-based startup this year, Minly claims the acquisition will see the company focus on its primary objectives, which meant launching new complementary products, deepen its roster of stars coupled with growing its geographical reach via an increased presence in other MENA and Arabic-speaking countries.
“We are the clear choice for stars in the region looking to create unforgettable, authentic digital experiences with fans. This acquisition will widen the gap, as the Oulo team shares the same mission and passion”.
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