Riyadh's SRMG Ventures invests $5m in Anghami to bolster growth

As part of the agreement, SRMG will also have the opportunity to increase its investment in Anghami in the future

Anghami became the first technology company from the Arab world to list on New York's Nasdaq exchange. Photo: Anghami
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SRMG Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Research and Media Group, has invested $5 million in Anghami, the Arab world's music streaming rival to Spotify, to bolster the company’s growth trajectory.

SRMG Ventures said it will offer its “extensive media reach, content library, and portfolio of leading assets in audio/podcasts” and enable Anghami to capture a larger share in the fast-growing music streaming sector that is predicted to “reach $700 million in the Middle East and North Africa in 2026”.

Audio consumption is growing fast in the Mena region. Last year, “the market size for audio increased by 35 per cent”, Jomana Al-Rashid, chief executive of SRMG, said.

“This demand coupled with the commercial opportunity … makes digital audio and media one of the investment priorities for SRMG Ventures. These opportunities are also demonstrative of our strategy and commitment to support and develop the media ecosystem.”

Music streaming has grown in popularity, especially as its cloud-based model enables users to gain access to content on demand, with the option to download tracks for offline listening.

The global music streaming market is projected to hit $103 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual rate of about 15 per cent from more than $34.5 billion in 2022, according to Research and Markets.

Anghami was founded in 2012 in Beirut, before moving to Abu Dhabi in 2021 as part of the Abu Dhabi Global Market, with the support of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office.

In February last year, it became the first technology company from the Arab world to list on New York's Nasdaq exchange.

With 120 million registered users (up from 75 million in 2021) and a catalogue of more than 100 million songs, Anghami has emerged as the leading platform for Arabic and international music, podcasts and entertainment.

“Working together with SRMG, a leader and innovator in regional media, Anghami will be able to unlock further opportunities to champion the music ecosystem,” Eddy Maroun, co-founder and chief executive of Anghami, said.

“This partnership will propel regional artists to greater heights, expand their global reach, and create new touchpoints for our users and artists alike,” Mr Maroun said.

Over the years, Anghami has broadened its portfolio beyond music streaming. It now provides in-house productions, branded music and video content, concerts and live events, a record label for Arab artists, podcasts, a music lounge with live entertainment, and exclusive and original Arabic content.

Launched in March, SRMG Ventures said its investment in Anghami aligns with the company’s strategy to invest in businesses of commercial growth, focusing on media creators and immersive and interactive entertainment. Its initial investments included Telfaz11, a Saudi-based creative media studio, and Vuz, a VR-enabled social media application.

As part of the investment agreement, SRMG will be invited to join Anghami's board of directors and will have the opportunity to increase its investment in Anghami in the future.

Updated: August 21, 2023, 6:30 PM