DEAL: Egypt’s Minly raises $3.6 million in seed round for its celebrity shoutout platform

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Minly, an Egypt-based creator economy platform that helps bridge the gap between celebrities and their fans has secured $3.6 million in seed funding.

The funding round was co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures, according to Techcrunch. The round was also joined by some other investors including 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 enables fans across the Middle East & North Africa, to buy personalized video messages and shoutouts (for themselves or their loved ones) from leading celebrities of the region. The platform currently has more than 50,000 users and features hundreds of celebrities, including cinema and TV stars, athletes, musicians, and social media influencers.

The prices of shoutouts are set by the celebrity themselves with some guidance from Minly’s team. A shoutout from Tamer Hosny, an Egyptian singer with over 50 million social media followers across different channels, costs $499.

The fans can also exchange messages and voice notes with the celebrities on the platform for a fee lower than video shoutouts. Minly makes money by taking a cut from every transaction on its platform. A part of proceeds earned from fans is also donated to charity, according to Minly’s website.

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What they are saying

Mohamed El-Shinnawy, the co-founder of Minly, said, “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 & 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”.