South African startup myFanPark has announced a merger with the Silicon Valley-based Starsona to form the leading global celebrity engagement platform, with a footprint across Africa, Europe, North America and the Indian subcontinent.
Launched in 2019, myFanPark allows users to request a personalised shout-out video from their favourite celebrity, such as birthday or celebration messages. After payment, the celebrity has seven days to record the video message, which myFanPark then delivers to the fan via email and WhatsApp.
The merger with US-based celebrity engagement platform Starsona comes off the back of a hugely successful period for myFanPark, which saw a 492 per cent increase in the number of users on the platform and a 959 per cent surge in total orders, and results in myFanPark entering the United States (US) market – the company’s fourth international market expansion this year.
Joy Des Fountain, who will now serve as co-CEO alongside Peter Karpas, co-founder of Starsona, said the goal at myFanPark was to reimagine how people around the world are able to connect, engage, share with, and inspire each other.
“We can now offer an almost limitless range of ways for fans and celebrities from all over the world to forge authentic, highly personalised, and valuable relationships with each other,” she said.
“Celebrities registered on the new platform will now also have the ability to augment their fan and corporate engagements through a new range of individualised and unforgettable experiences. Going forward, in addition to shoutout videos, fans will be able to enjoy live calls, Q&A sessions, social media engagements, and even direct-message chats.”
Karpas said the growing desire for fans to engage more directly with celebrities represented a cultural shift and massive opportunity for the new combined business and the talent registered on the platform.
“Our goal now is to further entrench ourselves in our regions through key partnerships and commercial opportunities that allow admired talent to create unique and authentic experiences for their fans or corporate clients: think career advice from business leaders, song lyrics from musicians, or coaching tips from world famous sporting heroes – now anything is possible,” he said.