Ghinwa Celebrates the Close of $3M Funding Round
Ghinwa, an in5-incubated Arabic karaoke and self-cast app, announced the successful close of a $3M (Dhs 11 million) funding round which included 500 Startups MENA Fund, Rotana Audio Records, Abdulaziz Alloughani (co-founder of Talabat.com), and other investors.
Ghinwa’s co-founders Mohammad AlMunaikh, Bader Althous and Alfonso Fernandez saw an opportunity in developing an Arabic karaoke and self-casts app. Self-cast, a term coined by the startup, means a short digital audio file that represents the broadcaster’s point of view and is expressed artistically and anonymously.
The Ghinwa team started their business at in5 Tech Innovation Center, an enabling platform for startups and entrepreneurs in Dubai, back in 2016. The app quickly gained traction with users, particularly in the Arab world, where cultural constraints often prevent people from posting videos or even pictures of themselves.
Mohammad AlMunaikh, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Ghinwa, said: “Ghinwa’s success is ultimately due to our 30,000+ users who have tested our products and provided us with the feedback we need to develop a product that we are confident will gain popularity across the Middle East region. Last year, Ghinwa focused on experimenting with different features and collecting user data to understand the barriers to self-expression.”
One of Ghinwa’s investors, Abdulaziz Alloughani, who is also the co-founder of Talabat.com and managing partner at Faith Capital Holding, said: “There is enormous potential in Ghinwa because it encourages creativity and talent in spite of cultural barriers. I believe that Ghinwa will become an important platform for talents in the Middle East to showcase their musical abilities.”
The startup has seen exponential organic growth in followers, with a 30% month-on-month increase. In 2017, Ghinwa recorded more than 270,000 singing experiences, and was also the winner of the MITEF Pan Arabia Best Startup for 2016 award. With the funding, the founders plan to help Ghinwa scale into regional markets and to promote the app through marketing initiatives across the MENA region.