Egyptian startup Minly, a platform empowering stars to create authentic, personalised connections with their fans across the MENA region, has closed an oversubscribed US$3.6 million seed round to extend its products and services.
Co-founded last year by Mohamed El-Shinnawy, Tarek Hosny, Bassel El-Toukhy, Tarek ElGanainy and Ahmed Abass, Minly allows users to buy personalised video messages and shoutouts from their favourite celebrities.
Available on Android, iOS, and web, the platform has experienced rapid organic growth, and already has more than 50,000 registered users on the platform, along with an impressive list of tier A regional celebrities, including Tamer Hosny, Fifi Abdou, Assala Nasri, Dorra Zarrouk, Hazem Imam, and Mahmoud Trezeguet.
The US$3.6 million funding round is co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures, and also includes participation from other leading regional funds and a cast of highly strategic angel investors including Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects; WndrCo; Jason Finger, founder of Seamless and Grubhub; Arieh Mimran, co-founder and chief investment officer of to.org; and Tamim Jabr, executive director for International Investments at Kingdom Holding Co.
Minly has broader ambitions to extend its products and services to become a full-stack passion economy platform that empowers content creators to deliver meaningful experiences across multiple mediums to their fans.
“With this new funding and the incredible group of partners that joined us, we are ready to scale across the region and introduce an exciting suite of new products,” said El-Shinnawy. “The creator economy is in its infancy and growing at lightning speed. We have the opportunity to build this category’s first unicorn in MENA.”
Peter Orth, co-founder and general partner at 4DX Ventures, who will be joining the Minly board, said the startup was fundamentally changing the relationship between celebrities and fans in the MENA region, and had an enormous opportunity for growth.
“The team has both the ambition and the expertise to build a full-stack digital interaction platform that could change the way digital content is created and consumed in the region. We’re thrilled to partner with Minly and to help them reach their full potential,” he said.