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Anghami to list on NASDAQ New York via SPAC deal

Anghami will become the first Arab technology company to list on NASDAQ New York via a merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that raised USD100 million in its August 2020 initial public offering.

The transaction implies an initial pro-forma enterprise valuation of approximately USD220 million, or 2.5x 2022 estimated revenues.

The transaction is expected to close in Q2 of 2021.

SHUAA Capital, the UAE’s premier publicly listed asset management and investment banking firm and Vistas Media Capital Singapore, the parent of the sponsor for Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc, have gathered commitments of a combined USD40 million (USD30 million from SHUAA and USD10 million from Vistas Media Capital) in PIPE financing.  SHUAA also led a funding round for Anghami earlier in the year.

Anghami, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, is currently backed by leading MENA venture capital firms and strategic shareholders, including media groups and telecommunications companies that collectively own approximately 68 per cent of Anghami, with the balance owned by the founders.

Anghami is a high growth digital media entertainment technology company, collecting over 56 million data points on its users daily. Anghami uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve recommendations, reduce churn, drive engagement and predict user behaviour.

Founded in 2012, Anghami is the first music-streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and has since built a market-leading platform, offering more than 57 million songs to more than 70 million registered users with around 1 billion streams per month.

Anghami has grown revenues 80 per cent over the last three years and is expected to increase five-fold over the next three years. The Company expects to have approximately USD142 million of cash on its balance sheet at closing to be used primarily to fuel additional growth. 

Co-founder and CEO of Anghami, Eddy Maroun, says: “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 U.S. listed public company gives us access to growth capital and a global platform that is the best in the world.”

Elie Habib, Co-founder, Chairman and CTO of Anghami, adds: “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.”

Jassim Alseddiqi, Group CEO of SHUAA, says: “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.”

Sam Barnet, CEO of MBC, the Saudi Arabian media group and one of Anghami’s key shareholders, says: “MBC is extremely proud of the exceptional team at Anghami and we are honoured to be a part of a huge success story for the region. The team has been committed to revolutionising the Arabic music industry through innovation and the best product in the market.”

Rabih Khoury, Managing Partner of Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), one of the leading Venture Capital Asset Managers in MENA, says: “As the largest institutional investor in Anghami, we at MEVP are delighted that one more of our top portfolio companies will list on NASDAQ, the leading global market for technology. We have partnered with Eddy and Elie from the outset in 2012 and continuously supported Anghami starting with its seed round and all its subsequent funding rounds. This strong partnership with Anghami has culminated in identifying Vistas as the ideal merger partner. The combination with Vistas will confirm Anghami’s position as a MENA technology leader and will provide the funding for its next phase of growth, establishing Anghami as one of the leading technology platforms.”

Saurabh Gupta, Co-founder of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc, says: “This is a landmark transaction for the MENA region and for Vistas. As a media and entertainment sector focused SPAC, our objective was to find a high growth company, and back phenomenal entrepreneurs like Eddy and Elie. Anghami is synonymous with the music culture in the MENA region. The combination of Anghami and the Vistas team will be a powerful force in the media and entertainment world, and we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work from everyone to get to this stage; but our work has only just begun.”

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