Dubai-based Ghinwa has raised $3 million in seed investment for its Arabic karaoke and self-cast app, from 500 Startups, Rotana Audio Records, Fatih Capital’s Managing Partner Abdulaziz Alloughani who happens to be the co-founder of Talabat, and some other investors, the startup announced today.
Co-founded by Mohammad AlMunaikh, Bader Al Tahous & Alfonso Fernández in 2015, Ghinwa had originally started in Kuwait and moved to Dubai’s in5 Tech Innovation Center in 2016. Ghinwa’s iOS-only app allows amateur singers to sing in karaoke and promote their talent anonymously. The app according to its App Store listing allows 35-second recordings that can be shared with nearby people. Ghinwa’s mobile app also allows user to discover new talents, listen to their recordings and engage with them by liking, commenting or republishing.
“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,” said Mohammad AlMunaikh, the co-founder & CEO of Ghinwa.
Ghinwa plans to use the investment to expand into other regional markets.
“Our plans for the current funding is to help Ghinwa scale into regional markets and to promote the app through marketing initiatives across the MENA region, where we see enormous potential,” noted Mohammad.
Abdulaziz Alloughani, co-founder of Talabat and Managing Partner at Faith Capital, speaking about the investment 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 was one of the nine startups to take part in 500 Startups’ Doha Dojo last year. They were also the winners of last year’s Arab Startup Competition (2016), organized by the MIT Economic Forum (MITEF).
According to a statement by the startup, the startup experienced a 30% month-on-month increase in its followers, without any marketing efforts. Ghinwa recorded more than 270,000 singing experiences last year.