Egyptian entertainment startup Minly acquires Dubai-based celebrity shoutout platform

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Egyptian media and entertainment startup Minly has announced the acquisition of Oulo, a Dubai-based celebrity shoutout platform focused on the Levant region, as it expands within the MENA region.

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 130,000 registered users on the platform, along with over 1,000 celebrities.

The startup raised a US$3.6 million seed funding round, co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures, in June, and it is now pursuing its expansion plans with the acquisition of Oulo. Minly said the deal consolidated its position as the leading creator economy platform in the region, and would accelerate its 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 and chief executive officer (CEO) Kamal Nazha will join Minly as chief commercial officer (CCO).

“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,” said Mohamed El-Shinnawy, co-founder and CEO of Minly.

“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.”

Oulo founder Nazha said he was a 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,” he said.

“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.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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