MENA’s media & entertainment startup Minly acquires Dubai’s celebrity shoutout platform Oulo
Minly, the MENA region’s media & entertainment startup, announced the acquisition of Oulo, a Dubai-based celebrity shoutout platform focused on the Levant region.
The acquisition of Oulo consolidates Minly’s position as the leading creator economy platform in the region and will accelerate Minly’s growth trajectory and customer reach. The merged business will operate under the Minly brand and roll out its combined experience offerings across the entire region. As part of the transaction, Oulo’s founder & CEO, Kamal Nazha, will join Minly as Chief Commercial Officer.
The global creator economy market exceeds $100 billion in value, and is still growing. Minly’s growth strategy for this market is developing a full-stack product suite empowering content creators to deliver meaningful experiences, across multiple mediums, to their fan base audiences. The MENA region has over 450 million people, of which 30% are between the ages of 18 to 30 – a group with a deep connection to social media, and fast contributing more to the global creator economy.
Mohamed El-Shinnawy, Co-founder and CEO, Minly: ''We are delighted to join forces with Kamal and the Oulo team. Consumers want authentic access to celebrities more than ever before, whilst stars need platforms to connect personally with their fan base. These market dynamics are very powerful, and scale is a competitive differentiator. Minly and Oulo share a common passion to create authentic enjoyable moments by connecting creators with their fans in unique ways, so we’re very excited about our future together in this fast-growing market.''
Minly’s platform currently has over 130,000 users and 1,000 celebrities, including Tamer Hosny, Fifi Abdou, and Dorra Zarrouk. Complementing its personalized video shoutouts, voice notes, and direct text messages, Minly recently launched its Minly Watch service where people can virtually attend online events performed by the region’s biggest stars, from anywhere in the world. The platform’s debut event, an exclusive live concert by Egyptian rapper Wegz, set a regional record as the biggest virtual concert in MENA, and was attended by over 32,000 fans across 31 countries.
Kamal Nazha, Founder and CEO, Oulo: ''I am a big believer in the age old proverb: If you can’t beat them, join them. I’ve always admired and respected the vision and execution of Minly, so I’m naturally very excited to join Shinnawy and the whole Minly team on this journey. With its top-tier technology, investors, and team members, Minly is very well positioned to develop and dominate the creator economy market in the region and beyond, and I am very motivated to ensure this happens.''
Oulo is a video gifting platform with over 300 celebrities across Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. It has created thousands of unique video messages from leading celebrities like Bassel Khaiat, Ali Jaber, Maguy Farah, and others. The company was founded in 2020 by Kamal Nazha after a career in investment banking, mostly at Deutsche Bank.
In June 2021, Minly raised $3.6 million in Seed funding from 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners and Global Ventures.