Which celebrity would you love to get a shout out from? I know I’ll love a shout out from Osita Iheme, the Nigerian actor whose image is above.
For many people, the only thing better than a shoutout from family and friends, is one from a celebrity. Even if they know the celebrity was paid to do so.
Well, the business of buying celebrity shout outs through a marketplace was popularised by Cameo, which launched in 2017. Recently, it’s grown popular in Africa.
Amid the many players, Minly, a Cairo-based celebrity video startup, secured $3.6 million in seed funding co-led by 4DX Ventures, B&Y Venture Partners, and Global Ventures.
Sounds like validation
Yes, it does. The Cameo-like platform enables fans across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) to buy personalised video messages and shoutouts – for themselves or their loved ones – from leading celebrities of the region. There is also the option to record reactions and publish them.
How it works: On Minly, celebrities set the prices of shoutouts themselves with some guidance from the startup. It costs $499 to get a shoutout from Tamer Hosny, an Egyptian singer with over 50 million social media followers across different channels.
Alternatively, fans can exchange messages and voice notes with the celebrities on the platform albeit for a fee lower than video shoutouts.
In exchange for making this happen, Minly makes money by taking a cut from every transaction on its platform and donates a percentage of proceeds earned to charity.
Zoom out: Apart from Minly, players in the space include Starzly, Halahi, and Starprise, all of which try to differentiate from one other by acquiring the exclusive rights of celebrities for their platforms. With the new funding, Minly wants to expand its products and services to become what it says will be a “full-stack passion economy” platform.
Read more: Egypt’s Cameo-like celebrity shoutout platform, Minly, raises $3.6 million seed