time to read 3 minutes

Starzplay raising from investors today, and maybe even the public market tomorrowMENA

Starzplay raising from investors today, and maybe even the public market tomorrow

Starzplay, a Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) service targeting the MENA population, has just bagged $25m in funding from Ruya Partners, a UAE-based investment company. It plans to create more original content and drive customer acquisition with the funds raised. This is all part of the company’s wider ambitions to go public in 2024.

Starzplay has come a long way since being launched by Lionsgate’s company Starz (STRZA) back in 2015. These days, 1.8 million paid subscribers tune in to the network to be entertained. Its count of unique users reportedly grew by 141% in 2020 (guess not everyone in MENA is monogamous with Netflix).

This growth is in line with recent performance reports from other streaming services across the globe, largely driven by the need for at-home entertainment during the pandemic (no surprise there). Just recently, Netflix (NFLX), to highlight just one example, announced they reached over 200 million paid subscribers worldwide, of which 37 million joined last year alone.

why it matters
Starzplay is riding the wave of investment in tech startups in the UAE. Since its approach is to meet the demand for local entertainment by producing original content made for the region, we sense a Netflix-like growth trajectory in the future of the company.