UAE-based subscription and on-demand video service (SVOD) STARZPLAY, has secured a $25 million debt financing round from Abu Dhabi-based Ruya Partners, an independent alternative investment firm focusing on private credit investments in developing markets.
STARZPLAY now reaches over 1.8 million in 20 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) paying subscribers and has been installed on over six million devices. With a market share of more than 32 per cent, the company claims to have recorded exceptional growth in 2020, including 141 per cent growth in number of unique users.
The funding will be used to expand the company’s customer and geographical reach, and acquire and produce original content.
"This partnership demonstrates our ability to attract top-notch institutional investors as we drive growth and ensure a path to profitability. It strengthens our capacity to create original content, expand our footprint and cement our status as Mena’s digital champion. We now have the foundation for our plans to list STARZPLAY and create even more shareholder value,” said Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of STARZPLAY.
Since its inception in 2015, the company has raised $125 million from STARZ, a Lionsgate company, State Street Global Advisors and technology investment firms SEQ Capital Partners and Delta Partners.
"The financing reflects our strategy of backing businesses with strong fundamentals and management teams that have a proven track of executing to plan and delivering long-term value,” said Rashid Siddiqi, co-founder and managing partner of Ruya Partners.
In late last year, STARZPLAY teamed up with Discovery Inc. to launch Discovery+ across Mena. The company also plans to go public by 2024, Sheikh disclosed in previous press remarks.