Singapore’s Vistas Media Capital expands footprint in Mena

Dubai - The event production services company will be launching the first 'Abu Dhabi Media Fest' in Q1 2022


A Staff Reporter

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Piiyush Singh CEO of Vistas Media FZ-LLC and Co-founder of Vistas Media Capital and Sandeep Mishra Regional Head of Vistas International DMCC. —Supplied photo.
Piiyush Singh CEO of Vistas Media FZ-LLC and Co-founder of Vistas Media Capital and Sandeep Mishra Regional Head of Vistas International DMCC. —Supplied photo.

Published: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Mon 14 Jun 2021, 2:14 PM

Singapore-based media investment holding company Vistas Media Capital (VMC) today announced its expansion plans in the Middle East region across the media and entertainment sector and investment management initiative for investors in the Mena region.

VMC has set up Vistas Media FZ-LLC in Abu Dhabi ‘s Media Free Zone’s ‘twofour54’ for content and entertainment events production services in the region, and also plans to move to twofour54’s new tailormade campus Yas Creative Hub after it opens later this year. The content production services arm of Vistas Media FZ-LLC will focus on providing and facilitating pre-filming, production and post-production services for Arabic, Bollywood (along with other Indian regional languages) and Hollywood films in Abu Dhabi.

The event production services vertical would be launching the first ‘Abu Dhabi Media Fest’ in November 2021 – a nine-day mega event which would include:

Vistas Media FZ-LLC will be headed by Piiyush Singh who is also the co-founder of VMC. In a statement, he said, “So far, we have successfully built and grown the Indian content production, distribution and media investment business and invested in select Hollywood productions. The strategic location of Abu Dhabi allows us to continue to deepen our footprint in India and also expand our experience, network and offerings in the Arab world through producing / co-producing and supporting local content makers to create high quality content.

“In recent years, Asian content from India, Korea, China and other markets have reached a wider global audience with the boom in digital content consumption. The timing is now perfect for quality Arabic content to reach a wider global audience.”

Katrina Anderson, director of commercial services at twofour54 Abu Dhabi, said: “We are excited to welcome a significant and respected player on the global media stage such as VMC to Abu Dhabi. This is a key moment for the capital’s fast-growing media and entertainment sector, which reinforces its position as the region’s beacon for quality content creation. Being at the centre of the world’s fastest-growing populations, the demand for high quality Arabic and international content is on the rise, representing tangible growth opportunities for media companies across the globe. We very much look forward to witnessing the positive impact that VMC will create within the regional media landscape right from the heart of Abu Dhabi.”

VMC successfully launched the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival (SG.SAIFF) and the South Asian Film Market (SAFM) in 2017 and has built a significant brand name for itself over the last three years. Through the newly established Abu Dhabi entity, the company now plans to organise the Abu Dhabi Media Fest which will be executed on a much larger scale and bring together the best of Mena and South Asian content and artists.

VMC also has immediate plans to set up a $150+ million multi-strategy investment fund, leveraging its expertise across SPACs and content specialty financing within the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) for investors in the Mena region to derive returns from the two hottest asset classes globally – the entire ecosystem of SPACs (from funding sponsor capital, investing in a portfolio of SPACs as an IPO investor and for PIPE financing) and pre-IPO financing for companies across key focus sectors in Mena and across the globe and structured finance in the content space across films, web series, music in India and the Mena region.

VMC has already set up two funds for each of the above strategies under the name Vistas Global Opportunities Funs SPC in Cayman Islands, targeting the global investor community outside of USA. Following this, tapping on increasing demand and appetite for investing in the above strategies from Mena-based investors, VMC is now setting up an investment entity under the ADGM jurisdiction for the same strategies.

VMC has always held a strong belief in the growth potential of the Mena region and even before engaging in discussions for a SPAC merger with Anghami, set up Vistas International DMCC in Dubai which is headed by Sandeep Mishra, a veteran banker and investment manager. The purpose of setting up the DMCC entity was to assess the full market potential for expanding VMC’s businesses and reach in the Mena region with UAE as the hub.

Mishra said: “We have carefully evaluated all the gaps and the demand that exist in this region across the media and entertainment sector and the need for an investment platform that offers unique global investment opportunities for local Mena based investors. Post the landmark Anghami transaction, with the setup of our media company in Abu Dhabi and now with the two disruptive funds, we believe we will be able to bridge these gaps and offer unique investment solutions for asset managers, investment funds, family offices and high-net worth investors in the region.”

The ADGM fund business will be headed by F. Jacob Cherian, currently based in New York and soon re-locating to Abu Dhabi. He is the CEO & Board Member of Vistas Media Acquisition Company Inc. (Nasdaq: VMAC), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that is taking Anghami - the leading music streaming platform and service in the Middle East and North Africa, public on Nasdaq.

Earlier March 3, 2021, VMAC announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement that will result in Anghami becoming the first Arab technology company to list on Nasdaq. The transaction implies a pro-forma enterprise value of $220 million. The combined company will operate under the Anghami name and will trade under the new symbol ‘ANGH’ post the merger completion. Cherian will continue to be the Co-CEO for Anghami post the merger for a period of 12 months. —

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