STARZ Play Arabia Secures Funding Investments from SEQ and Delta Partners


Leading MENA on-demand video streaming service will use proceeds to expandnew content offerings and enrich STARZ Play platform with new product features

DUBAI, UAE: PRNewswire: STARZ Play, the on-demand video streaming service available in 19 countries across the MENA region, today announced a new multi-million dollar funding investment. This investment is led by existing investors including SEQ Capital Partners and new investors including Delta Partners Capital, an emerging market centric advisory and investment platform for the telecoms, media and digital space.

STARZ Play, which commenced operations just 18 months ago, welcomed more than 17 million site visitors in October 2016 with its portfolio of movies and TV series including Power, Black Sails and Ash vs Evil Dead from original investor, Starz. The service has grown exponentially, achieving double digit month-on-month revenue and subscriber growth since launch. The service can be accessed in 19 countries across the MENA region and the investment will be used to finance STARZ Play’s continued expansion of its services and partnerships. The funding will also allow further content acquisition, allowing STARZ Play to license additional titles to sit alongside its popular series, which include Showtime’s Billionsand Ray Donovan together with award winning titles such as Vikings, Greys Anatomy, Top Gear, Quantico and The Walking Dead.

Maaz Sheikh, CEO of STARZ Play, commented: “Strategic partnerships with leading studios, major telecom groups and device manufacturers have proven our long term business model. We now enjoy a six-figure subscriber base of customers in MENA who enjoy the affordable, on-demand experience our service provides. We’ve also made subscribing to STARZ Play easier and even better value than ever by introducing mobile phone bills as a payment option and creating attractive offers through telecom service providers.

“This funding demonstrates the continued confidence our current investors have in STARZ Play. We’ve raised the bar for subscription video on demand services in this region and these new funds will enable us to further enhance our content and technology offering,” Maaz continued.

Kaj-Erik Relander, Partner at SEQ, said: “The SVOD industry is evolving rapidly and companies are competing aggressively to meet their customers’ requirements and demands. STARZ Play has done an extremely impressive job of providing a convenient viewing experience for SVOD users in the MENA region. We are proud to be an investor in such an ambitious and fast growing company and we intend to equip this business to maintain its leading industry position.”

Kai-Uwe Ricke, Chairman of Delta Partners Group, said: “STARZ Play has demonstrated its unique capability to adapt the traditional SVOD business model to the specifics of emerging markets. We are very excited to become part of STARZ Play’s journey and we intend to leverage the expertise and network of Delta Partners Group to help the management in forging deeper and more successful win-win partnerships with telecom operators in MENA and beyond.”

John Penney, Chairman of the Board of STARZ Play Arabia and Chief Strategy Officer of Starz, added: “Starz has been very pleased with the progress shown by STARZ Play and its investment in the venture. Maaz and his team have established a great foundation for the business to grow throughout the region.  We are delighted to see additional investment come in from smart partners and view this as an endorsement of the vision we had when establishing the business, and the positive outlook we see going forward for the MENA marketplace.”

STARZ Play features more than 5,000 hours of the best Hollywood movies, TV shows, documentaries, children’s entertainment and same-day-as-the-US series, all streamed in HD or 4K. The service also contains 1,200 hours of dedicated Arabic content while French speakers can enjoy more than 2,200 hours of movies and series dubbed into French. New content is added all the time and the service is currently streaming exclusive day-and-date series.

About STARZ Play Arabia:

STARZ Play is a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service that streams thousands of blockbuster Hollywood movies, documentaries, children’s entertainment and same-day-as-the-US series – plus dedicated Arabic content – to 19 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Developed exclusively for the MENA region with investors including Starz, SEQ and Delta Partners, the service also features one-click Arabic subtitling and French audio options.

STARZ Play utilizes advanced technology to provide a premium, ad-free viewing experience with full HD and 4K content sourced from major studios such as Disney, Warner Bros, Sony, Showtime, Paramount, BBC Worldwide and CBS. STARZ Play allows you to watch anytime, anywhere on an iOS or Android device, supports Mac and Windows browsers, streams via Apple TV, Chromecast, a PS4 console or directly to a Samsung smart TV, is available on regional IPTV services, and is continually adding support for numerous other gaming and smart devices.

About Delta Partners Capital:

Based in Dubai, Delta Partners Capital is the investments arm of Delta Partners Group Limited, the leading emerging markets-focused telecoms, media and digital advisory and investments firm. Delta Partners Capital invests in growth capital opportunities in the telecommunications, media and digital sector across Africa, Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South-East Asia.

About SEQ Capital Partners:

SEQ Capital Partners is a privately- held investment company that focuses on proprietary opportunities and special situations.  Its partners seek to use their expertise, relationships and experience in a wide variety of global businesses, particularly relating to technology, media and communications, to assist management, manage risk, and create and increase value.