Anghami Nasdaq
Anghami has its moment in the Nasdaq limelight. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Middle East based tech company has listed on Nasdaq New York, with the Arabic music streaming portal Anghami doing the honours. It was last year that Anghami listed its intentions after entering a SPAC merger with Vistas Media Acquisition Co.

Anghami’s shares (and its warrants) begin trading in the US under the tickers ‘ANGH’ and ‘ANGHW’, respectively. SPACs are ‘special purpose acquisition vehicles’ that companies with an intention to list can use, but without having to go through the elaborate IPO requirements.

“As we embark on this new chapter, we remain as committed as ever to our goal of expanding the Arabic-language music repertoire through new initiatives and innovative concepts such as Anghami Originals, Anghami Labs, live concerts, live radio and branded content," said Eddy Maroun, Co-founder and co-CEO of Anghami, in a statement.

Beirut roots

The music platform launched in 2012 with its operations out of Beirut. In the years since, it has built a regional market share of 58 per cent. The SPAC deal and Nasdaq listing come just as Anghami moves into related categories outside of the core music streaming. It includes setting up multiple music production hubs.

“We look forward to continuing our mission to transform the music streaming industry globally by connecting fans and artists and providing a unique streaming experience by focusing on original hyper-local content and an extensive catalogue of music and entertainment," said Elie Habib, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.

Abu Dhabi as HQ

Last year, Anghami established its HQ and R&D centre in Abu Dhabi as part of a partnership with Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO). Through its Dh2 billion Innovation Programme, ADIO provided Anghami with “financial and non-financial incentives” to set up at the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

The platform has 72 million songs in its library and 75 million registered users. Three markets - Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UArab Emirates - have generated the biggest chunk of the user base.

SPAC deal

Early last, the Dubai fund manager Shuaa Capital led a funding round for Anghami and made a PIPE (private investment in public equity) commitment of $30 million. Plus, there was $10 million commitment from Vistas Media Sponsor.

Jacob Cherian, who of Vistas has joined Anghami as co-CEO, said: "We are thrilled to bring the Arab region's most popular music streaming platforms and challenger brands to NASDAQ. This is an incredible achievement, and we look forward to reaching many more milestones in creating more original music content, expanding Anghami's horizons and reach, and growing as a global publicly traded company.”