With the likes of Fifi Abdou and Tamer Hosny hosted by the platform, a high-profile shoutout can cost fans up to $499.
The Cairo-based platform, Minly, which lets users buy personalised shoutouts from celebrities, has raised $3.6 million in an ‘oversubscribed’ seed round co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures.
The round also featured angel investors Scooter Braun, Anthony Saleh, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jason Finger, Arieh Mimran, and Tamim Jabr.
Founded in 2020 by Mohammed El-Shinnawy, Tarek Hosny, Bassel El-Toukhy, Tarek ElGanainy, and Ahmed Abbas, Minly lets celebrity fans across MENA buy personalised video messages from major celebrities in the region. Featuring cinema stars, athletes, musicians, and social media influencers, the platform has shoutouts from household names such as Tamer Hosny, Fifi Abdou, and Assala Nasri, and boasts over 50,000 registered users.
With some help from Minly’s team, celebrities themselves set the price of the videos, and a Tamer Hosny shoutout will cost a fan $499.
Having secured the new funds, the startup wants to expand services and product to become a full-stack passion economy platform, for content creators to deliver meaningful experiences over various mediums for their fans.
El-Shinnawy described the vision, “with this new funding and the incredible group of partners that joined us, we are ready to scale across the region and introduce an exciting suite of new products. The creator economy is in its infancy and growing at lightning speed. We have the opportunity to build this category’s first unicorn in MENA.”
Peter Orth, Co-Founder and General Partner at 4DX Ventures--who is joining the startup’s board--said “Minly is fundamentally changing the relationship between celebrities and fans in the MENA region, and has an enormous opportunity for growth.”
“The team has both the ambition and the expertise to build a full-stack digital interaction platform that could change the way digital content is created and consumed in the region. We’re thrilled to partner with Minly and to help them reach their full potential,” he said.