Egypt-based creator economy platform Minly has announced it closed a $3.6m seed round to accelerate its growth process. The round which is described as oversubscribed was co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures, including other unnamed regional funds and angel investors like Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects; Jason Finger, co-founder of Seamless and GrubHub; Anthony Saleh and Jeffrey Katzenberg of WndrCo; Arieh Mimran of Groupe Mimran; and Tamim Jabr.
Minly was founded in 2020 by Mohamed El-Shinnawy, Tarek Hosny, Tarek ElGanainy, Ahmed Abbas, and Bassel El-Toukhy. The startup provides tools for innovators to create what it describes as ‘authentic connections’ with their superfans and audience at scale. Minly has already experienced rapid growth since its launch in 2020. The startup has more than 50,000 users and an impressive list of popular regional celebrities ranging from actors and athletes like Fifi Abdou and Mahmoud Trezeguet to musicians and internet influencers like Assala Nasri and Tamer Hosny.
Mohamed El-Shinnawy one of the co-founders of Minly speaking on the funding said that the startup already offers the best service as it has differentiated itself from other platforms.
“We think that we have already differentiated ourselves from other creator economy platforms in the region. We do this by offering the best catalog of stars and user experience. And our entire team is working hard to grow this gap even further,” said El-Shinnawy.
Some of the instances where celebrities connected with their fans on Minly include when actress and dancer Fifi Abdou sent a personal message to one of her biggest fans who has Down syndrome and when Egyptian singer Tamer Hosny made a surprise appearance at two fans’ engagement party in March.
Minly makes its profit by taking a small commission on transactions made through its platform. However, the majority of the transaction price, a figure Minly didn’t disclose, goes directly to creators.
Minly’s knack for creating a personalized experience is why Pan-African VC firm 4DX Ventures invested. The firm’s co-founder and general partner Peter Orth, who will be joining Minly’s board, said the company is fundamentally changing the relationship between celebrities and fans in the MENA region. “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,” El-Shinnawy added.
With this investment, Minly is doubling down on building local celebrity acquisition teams in Egypt and other parts across Africa, where it has seen significant traction. The company will also scale its engineering team to churn out more products to build a horizontal creator platform.