Anghami Inc, a music streaming platform in the Middle East & North Africa, is listing on Nasdaq by merging with Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc (VMAC), a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) led by Singapore’s Vistas Media Capital.
Vistas Media, founded by Saurabh Gupta, Abhayanand Singh, and F Jacob Cherian, announced that it has entered into a merger agreement with Anghami in a deal that could value the startup, dubbed as the Spotify of the Middle East, at about $220 million.
VMAC raised $100 million in a public listing on Nasdaq in August 2020. The SPAC focuses on high-growth entities in the global media and entertainment sector.
If the merger pushes through, Anghami will become the first Middle East technology company to list on Nasdaq. The combined company will operate under the Anghami name and will trade under the new symbol “ANGH”. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.
Founded in 2012, Anghami is the first music streaming platform in the MENA region and has since built a platform that offers more than 57 million songs to more than 70 million registered users with around 1 billion streams per month.
The startup collects over 56 million data points on its users daily, making it a high-growth digital media entertainment technology company. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve recommendations, reduce churn, drive engagement, and predict user behaviour.
Anghami is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, at the Abu Dhabi Global Market, and has offices in Beirut, Dubai, Cairo, and Riyadh. It is supported by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, the Abu Dhabi government’s investment attraction and development hub, which partnered with Anghami as part of its Innovation Programme.
“The combination of Anghami and the Vistas Media team will be a powerful force in the media and entertainment world, and we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work from both teams to get to this stage, but our work has only just begun,” said VMAC co-founder and board executive Saurabh Gupta.
SPACs are companies without operations that are formed only to raise capital to acquire other businesses. These firms typically acquire firms as quickly as four to five months of their launch. They are given up to two years to seek targets. If they cannot fulfill that mandate, they will have to return all the money to the public shareholders.
The biggest Southeast Asia-focused SPAC is Bridgetown Holdings, which is backed by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li and venture capitalist Peter Thiel. Bridgetown, which raised $595 million, is reportedly considering a potential merger with Indonesia’s e-commerce giant Tokopedia in a deal that could value the unicorn at $8 billion to $10 billion.