Egyptian entertainment startup Minly acquires Dubai-based celebrity shoutout platform.


Minly, the Mena region’s fastest growing media and entertainment startup, has announced the acquisition of Oulo, a Levant-focused celebrity shoutout platform based in Dubai.

Minly’s position as the region’s leading creator economy platform will be enhanced by the purchase of Oulo, which will accelerate Minly’s growth trajectory and customer reach. The merged business will operate under the Minly brand and roll out its combined experience offerings across the entire region.

Kamal Nazha, the founder and CEO of Oulo, will join Minly as Chief Commercial Officer as part of the transaction.

Mohamed El-Shinnawy, co-founder and CEO of Minly, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Kamal and the Oulo team. Consumers want authentic access to celebrities more than ever before, whilst stars need platforms to connect personally with their fan base. These market dynamics are very powerful, and scale is a competitive differentiator.

“Minly and Oulo share a common passion to create authentic enjoyable moments by connecting creators with their fans in unique ways, so we’re very excited about our future together in this fast-growing market.”

Kamal Nazha, founder and CEO of Oulo, said: “I am a big believer in the age-old proverb: If you can’t beat them, join them. I’ve always admired and respected the vision and execution of Minly, so I’m naturally very excited to join Shinnawy and the whole Minly team on this journey. 

“With its top-tier technology, investors, and team members, Minly is very well positioned to develop and dominate the creator economy market in the region and beyond, and I am very motivated to ensure this happens.”

The global creator economy market is worth more over $100 billion and is still growing. Minly’s growth strategy for this market is to build a full-stack product suite that allows content creators to deliver meaningful experiences to their fan base audiences across multiple mediums.

The Mena region has a population of over 450 million people, with 30% of them being between the ages of 18 and 30 — a group with a strong social media presence and a growing contribution to the global creator economy.

Minly’s platform currently has over 130,000 users, including Tamer Hosny, Fifi Abdou, and Dorra Zarrouk, as well as 1,000 celebrities.

4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures invested $3.6 million in Minly in June 2021.

Minly recently launched its Minly Watch service, which allows customers to virtually attend online events performed by the region’s top stars from anywhere in the world, in addition to its personalized video shoutouts, voice notes, and direct text messages. The platform’s debut event, an exclusive live concert by Egyptian rapper Wegz, broke the regional record for the largest virtual concert in Mena, with over 32,000 fans from 31 countries in attendance.

Oulo is a video gifting platform in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia with over 300 celebrities. Thousands of unique video messages from personalities such as Bassel Khaiat, Ali Jaber, Maguy Farah, and others have been created. Kamal Nazha launched the company in 2020 following a career in investment banking, primarily at Deutsche Bank.