Starzplay secures first debt financing of US$25MN | Media Investment | Business
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Following what is said to be a detailed evaluation of the leading MENA subscription video-on-demand service’s financial fundamentals and growth potential, Starzplay has received its first independent debt financing in the region of US$25 million from Ruya Partners.
STARZPLAY Ruya Partners 3Feb2021
The Abu Dhabi-based independent alternative investment firm says the deal was secured agreed on the basis of Starzplay’s financial strength and performance. The capital base achieved through the financing will go towards supporting Starzplay’s growth ambitions – that is a focus on strengthening its geographic and customer reach, acquisition and production of original content - and maximising long-term value for its stakeholders through to a potential IPO.

Currently, Starzplay reaches over 1.8 million paying subscribers and is installed on more than six million devices. Accounting for a market share of more than 32%, the platform recorded exceptional growth in 2020, with independent research showing growth of 141% in the number of unique users during the year.

The new funding builds on the US$125 million funding secured since its launch in 2015 from global industry investors STARZ, a Lionsgate company, and State Street Global Advisors. It marks the first time that Starzplay has attracted debt financing from a regional investor.

“We are delighted to partner with Ruya Partners and secure its first investment,” commented Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO of Starzplay. “This new partnership demonstrates our ability to attract diverse, top-notch institutional investors as we continue to drive growth and ensure a path to profitability. UAE’s strong tech-entrepreneurial ecosystem, and this new investment will further strengthen Starzplay’s capacity to create original content, expand our geographical footprint and cement our lead status as the MENA region’s digital champion.”

Rashid Siddiqi, co-founder and managing partner of Ruya Partners, added: “The financing for Starzplay is one of our first major investments in the tech sector in UAE. As a homegrown brand, Starzplay has disrupted the market and meets the increase in demand for home entertainment. The financing reflects our strategy of backing businesses with strong fundamentals and management teams that have a proven track of executing to plan and delivering long-term value.”