"Big Ambitions And High Expectations" For Anghami's Merger With Fellow Homegrown Brand OSN+ To Create New MENA Streaming Giant The merger of the two brands is the first of its kind in the region, with OSN Group investing up to US$50 million in Anghami, and the resulting platform set to have over 120 million registered users, more than 2.5 million paying subscribers, as well as over $100 million in revenue at closing.
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While Anghami is the MENA's leading music and entertainment streaming platform, OSN+ -a part of the OSN Group, a subsidiary of the Kuwait-based Kuwait Projects Group (KIPCO)- is the region's leading streaming platform for premium content.
Anghami currently has a catalogue of over 100 million songs, while OSN+ has over 18,000 hours of video content and exclusive partnerships with international studios like HBO, NBC Universal, and Paramount, as well as with leading Arabic and Turkish studios in this domain.
The merger of the two brands is the first of its kind in the region, with OSN Group investing up to US$50 million in Anghami, and the resulting platform set to have over 120 million registered users, more than 2.5 million paying subscribers, as well as over $100 million in revenue at closing.
Anghami, which, in 2021, became the first Arab tech company to list on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, will thus see OSN Group become a majority stake owner in the company, following the completion of the transaction in the first quarter of 2024.
In an interview with Entrepreneur Middle East, Joe Kawkabani, CEO of OSN Group, said that he and his enterprise have "big ambitions and high expectations for this merger."
"We have seen an impressive rise in our streaming platform, OSN+, following its relaunch in March 2022, cementing ourselves as a leading player in MENA," Kawkabani said. "At the same time, we have always followed Anghami's journey, and admired what they built and achieved. This deal will bring together the strength of OSN+'s premium video content and strong studio relationships, with Anghami's technological prowess and local customer base at the perfect time, to pursue our common goal of building a customer-focused multimedia streaming platform."
Elie Habib, co-founder and the current CTO of Anghami, is set to take on the role of CEO at this new enterprise. For Habib, who co-founded Anghami with Eddy Maroun in 2012, this deal is "definitely our biggest milestone after NASDAQ."
"Anghami's journey has been remarkable, and this landmark takes us to the next level with two of the Arab world's market-leading streaming brands coming together to reshape the MENA media and entertainment landscape," Habib said. "Together, we can now offer consumers unprecedented aggregation of the best and latest in premium movies, television shows, music, podcasts, and more, while providing a rich and seamless user experience. Overall, we aim to create an inclusive destination that reflects the diversity of the region, connects people across borders, and cements our market leadership position. For me, personally, to be driving this transaction is both exciting and very gratifying."
"Anghami is a tech platform that was created with the consumer in mind," Habib added. "We want to understand the user's preferences and his/her habits to build a better experience. With OSN+, we are now providing the best of both worlds. The challenge we have ahead is that we're creating a first of its kind media offering in the region, and this will require a lot of focus and communication."
When asked about how easy they think it would be to merge the working cultures of OSN+ and Anghami, both Kawkabani and Habib professed a positive outlook of what the future entailed.
"As one of the larger and older media companies in MENA, OSN Group always sought to create a dynamic entrepreneurial culture in building its streaming business," Kawkabani said. "Anghami's strong entrepreneurial DNA and startup culture are the perfect fit for us. The challenge is to make sure we do not disrupt this spirit as we bring these businesses together."
"Our culture has been one of our biggest assets," Habib added. "We're a relatively young and agile team that is quite resourceful and smart. We work together very closely as one family. We're very keen to retain this while tapping into OSN+'s rich and experienced culture in premium video content."
It is also this kind of an entrepreneurial attitude that Habib wishes to impose on those in the MENA startup ecosystem wanting to follow in Anghami's footsteps when it comes to their own growth trajectories. "Never focus on perfection," he said. "Seek to start early, and iterate often. The rest somehow tends to follow. When we started, we never imagined being where we are today, and that is a testimony of our hard work, and that loving what we do will pay off."