Anghami to become first Arab tech startup to list on NASDAQ

By Kate Birch
Music streaming platform Anghami to list on New York’s NASDAQ after SPAC merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Company (VMAC) – only 2nd Arab firm to...

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 agreement will see Anghami become only the second Arab company to list on NASDAQ – after Aramex 24 years ago – and the first Arab technology startup to do so. 

The combined company will operate under the Anghami name and the transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

Founded in 2012 in Beirut by Eddy Maroun and Elie Habib, Anghami is the first music-streaming platform in the MENA region.

“Today is a very exciting day for all of us at Anghami and our partners globally,” said Maroun, co-founder and CEO. “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.”

Anghami backed by MENA investors

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 US$40 million (US$30 million from SHUAA and US$10 million from Vistas Media Capital) in private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing for Anghami. 

Offering 57 million Arabic and international songs to 70 million of registered users, Anghami has around a billion streams per month. It uses AI and machine learning algorithms to process 56 million data points every day, allowing it to predict user bahaviour and trends.

The company recently relocated to the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), while maintaining offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo and Riyadh.

Anghami has raised more than US$33 million to date, from MENA-based investors including Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Samena Capital and MBC Ventures.

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