Music streaming platform Anghami is listing on the New York NASDAQ exchange via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Vistas Media Acquisition Company (VMAC). The merger agreement will result in Anghami becoming the second Arab company to list on NASDAQ after Aramex 24 years ago, and the first Arab technology startup to do so.
The transaction implies a pro-forma enterprise value of $220 million, which is 2.5 times its 2022 estimated revenues and compares to Spotify’s current revenue multiple of 6.5x revenue. The combined company will operate under the Anghami name and will trade under the new symbol “ANGH.” The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.
UAE-based asset management firm SHUAA Capital and Vistas Media Capital Singapore, the parent of the sponsor for (VMAC), have participated in a combined round of $40 million ($30 million from SHUAA and $10 million from Vistas Media Capital) in private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing for Anghami. Accordingly, the company expects to have approximately $142 million of cash on its balance sheet at closing to be used primarily to fuel additional growth.
Founded in 2012 in Beirut by Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib, Anghami is the first music-streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. Its revenues have grown by 80 per cent in the past three years and is expected to increase five-fold over the next three years according to a statement issued by the company.
“Today is a very exciting day for all of us at Anghami and our partners globally. Elie and I co-founded the company in 2012 with a vision for Anghami to be a first of its kind, digital media entertainment technology platform in the Mena region. Today, we have taken a significant step forward in our growth plans in seeking to become the region’s first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ. Being a US listed public company gives us access to growth capital and a global platform that is the best in the world,” said Eddy Maroun, co-founder and CEO of Anghami.
Anghami offers more than 57 million Arabic and international songs to more than 70 million of its registered users, with around one billion streams per month. With an Arabic speaking population of over 450 million globally, its listing on NASDAQ allows Anghami to scale its user base and invest in technology to build on its data play. Anghami's AI and machine learning algorithms process over 56 million data points from its user base every day. Over nine years of user data is enabling the company to predict user behaviour and trends to better focus its investments and improve monetization.
The company recently relocated its headquarters to the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in Abu Dhabi, while maintaining its offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh to establish and maintain partnerships. The company has established direct partnerships with 36 telecommunication companies across the region to boost free user acquisitions and facilitate subscriptions.
“We’re proud of the product and technology we’ve been able to build and now we will have the ability to invest more in R&D and innovate providing a product that goes beyond music to immersive experiences around media and entertainment while remaining relevant to our users and focused on our local edge,” said Elie Habib, cofounder, Chairman and CTO of Anghami.
Anghami has raised more than $33 million to date, from several Mena-based investors including Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Samena Capital and MBC Ventures and others who collectively own approximately 68 per cent of Anghami, with the balance owned by the founders.
“We are delighted to be leading the PIPE for Anghami’s business combination with VMAC in what will accelerate Anghami’s growth and build upon its success as a pioneer in the music streaming space in the Middle East and North Africa. SHUAA led a funding round for Anghami earlier in the year and has been working closely with the team to secure the PIPE investment and deliver a successful listing on NASDAQ. In addition, the enhanced reputation and access to capital that comes with a listing on NASDAQ accelerates the company’s growth journey,” said Jassim Alseddiqi, group CEO of SHUAA.