Starz Play, the on-demand video streaming service in the MENA region, has raised a total of $125 million (€109.6m) since inception, including new 2017 commitments from leading global industry investors Starz, a Lionsgate company, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), in its capacity as an advisor and manager of private equity, and media and technology investment firms SEQ Capital Partners and Delta Partners.
The new investment funds will go towards enhancing Starz Play’s customer experience, acquiring new programming, and strengthening its position as the region’s leading digital video platform. Since launching in 2015, Starz Play has amassed more than 700,000 paying subscribers.
Maaz Sheikh, CEO of Starz Play, commented: “We appreciate the continued support of the strategic investors to the Starz Play family. In recent months, Starz Play has introduced several service enhancements, including a download function for offline viewing, expanded telecom partnerships in North Africa, and expanded content partnerships to all major Hollywood studios. At the same time, our ability to offer localised content that caters to the GCC and North Africa market makes us truly unique in the region.”
Chris Albrecht, Starz President and CEO, added: “Starz is proud to extend its support through further investment in the Starz Play service and management team. As the first Starz-branded service outside of the US, the success of Starz Play in the MENA region highlights the tremendous growth potential we see for on-demand video streaming services in this competitive market. As a result, Starz and our partners SSGA and SEQ Capital Partners continue to evaluate future opportunities to expand the service in new territories outside of the MENA region.”