Minly, a platform empowering stars to create authentic, personalised connections with their fans across the Mena region, has closed an oversubscribed $3.6 million seed round co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures.
The round also included participation from other leading regional funds, and a cast of highly strategic angel investors including Scooter Braun (founder of SB Projects), WndrCo (Anthony Saleh and Jeffrey Katzenberg), Jason Finger (founder of Seamless / Grubhub), Arieh Mimran (Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer of to.org, and CIO of Groupe Mimran), and Tamim Jabr (Executive Director for International Investments at Kingdom Holding Co).
“Minly is fundamentally changing the relationship between celebrities and fans in the Mena region, and has an enormous opportunity for growth,” says Peter Orth, Co-Founder & General Partner at 4DX Ventures, who will be joining the board.
“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.”
The company has experienced rapid organic growth since launching in late 2020 by Mohamed El-Shinnawy, Tarek Hosny, and Bassel El-Toukhy, , and it already has more than 50,000 registered users on the platform, along with an impressive list of tier A regional celebrities.
Through Minly, users can buy personalised video messages and shoutouts from their favourite celebrities, getting unprecedented access to the talent they admire most, and celebrities in turn get to connect with their fans on a deeper level.
Minly has assembled a diverse roster of hundreds of talented celebrities that not only includes traditional cinema and television stars but also athletes, musicians, and internet influencers.
Minly has been able to attract some of the top talents in the region to the platform, including Tamer Hosny, Fifi Abdou, Assala Nasri, Dorra Zarrouk, Hazem Imam, and Mahmoud Trezeguet.
The global pandemic has helped boost interest in the platform – in-person events have all but disappeared, and Minly is offering celebrities an authentic and personal way to continue to interact with their top fans.
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,” says Mohamed El-Shinnawy, co-founder at Minly.
“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”.
Minly allows users to browse public shoutouts on the platform and gives them a chance to record their reactions creating unique and authentic moments.
“As a mission-driven team, it’s all about spreading this positivity and empowering stars and content creators to engage with communities from all walks of life. We’re also very proud of our collaboration with NGOs that create real on-the-ground social impact, such as the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation.” adds Shinnawy.