Lebanon Businessnews News

Anghami to list on Nasdaq
with a $220 million valuation
One billion streams per month
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Anghami, a music streaming platform, said it will be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange through a merger with Singapore-based Vistas Media Acquisition Co. (VMAC), a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

Lebanon-founded Anghami is the first Arab tech company, and the second Arab company to list on NASDAQ. Aramex was the first to do so 24 years ago.

“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. “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, the company’s co-founder and CEO. Anghami is planning to invest in Arabic artists and content.

Maroun and Habib founded Anghami in 2012. It was the first music-streaming platform in the Middle East and North Africa region. Its revenues grew by 80 per cent over the past three years. They are expected to increase five-fold over the next three years according to a company statement. The founders own 32 percent of Anghami. The company has raised more than $33 million to date, from several Middle East-based investors including Samena Capital, MBC Ventures, and others. It employs more than 100 people, of whom 60 percent own its stock options.

VMAC is led by F. Jacob Cherian and co-founders Saurabh Gupta and Abhayanand Singh. It had gone public on Nasdaq about six months ago in a $100 million IPO. VMAC is a blank check company that is formed to raise money through an IPO with the aim to buy an existing company and take it public.

Anghami’s founders will continue to lead the company. F. Jacob Cherian, the CEO of VMAC is expected to join the combined company as Co-CEO for a period of one year.

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 ANGH symbol. The transaction is expected to close before the middle of the year.

The merged entity benefited from a Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) financing. UAE-based asset management firm SHUAA Capital participated with $30 million and VMAC injected $10 million. The company expects to have approximately $142 million of cash on its balance sheet at closing to be used primarily to finance growth. Jassim Alseddiqi, Group CEO of SHUAA, said, “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.”

Anghami is regarded as a competitor to Spotify and Deezer in its specialty service regions. It has more than 70 million registered users, including one million paying subscribers. It has partnerships with Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music Group. It offers more than 57 million Arabic and international songs by five million artists, 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 artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms process over 56 million data points from its user base daily.

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. Anghami has established direct partnerships with 36 telecommunication companies across the region to boost free user acquisitions and facilitate subscriptions.

Date Posted: Mar 08, 2021
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