Singaporean influencer platform launches in the Middle East

Singaporean influencer platform launches in the Middle East
Faisal Al-Ghazzawi, a 30-year-old Saudi fashion influencer. (Social media)
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Updated 02 January 2021

Singaporean influencer platform launches in the Middle East

Singaporean influencer platform launches in the Middle East
  • The influencer market has been very lucrative for both influencers and brands

JEDDAH: Singapore’s AnyMind Group has launched a new influencer marketing service in the Middle East.

Founded in April 2016, AnyTag is a platform that allows marketers to hire more than 180,000 influencers for their marketing campaigns — from “micro users” with a small group of followers to top celebrities with over a million.

Faisal Al-Ghazzawi, a 30-year-old Saudi fashion influencer with almost 1 million followers, said working with an agency helps influencers link up with the right brands.

“I used to be an independent influencer but I (now) work with AQ Agency. They impressed me by knowing all about my brand and have helped me in achieving what I seek from influencing, which is helping my audience make better choices, learn, and hopefully live happy lives,” he said.

Al-Ghazzawi said that influencers make money through promoting products, hosting events and by becoming “brand ambassadors.” While some influencers prefer to work alone, Al-Ghazzawi said he enjoyed the collaborative aspect of working with an agency, particularly one that doesn’t “shy away from confrontation.” 

BACKGROUND

Founded in April 2016, AnyTag is a platform that allows marketers to hire more than 180,000 influencers for their marketing campaigns — from “micro users” with a small group of followers to top celebrities with over a million.

“These days, almost everyone is a ‘yes man’ — or woman,” he said. “No matter what your request is, good or bad, those yes people will just say yes and, more often than not, it leads to unwanted results.”

The influencer market has been very lucrative for both influencers and brands, especially those involved in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector. Influencer marketing is expected to be worth $15 billion globally by 2022.

A global survey by New York headquartered consultancy firm Duff & Phelps found that in 2021 nearly half the marketers at FMCG companies said they expect to spend 31-50 percent of their total marketing budget on influencers.

Duff & Phelps said global average spend on single influencers was $22,151. While Saudi Arabia was not included in the study, average spend in the UAE was lower than the global average at $15,612.

The study found that a third of marketers at FMCG companies said their most successful influencer campaign brought in between $250,000-$500,000 worth of sales. However, a quarter of respondents said they suffered a $100,000-$250,000 hit from negative associations with an influencer, while a fifth took an even greater hit —$500,000.

“It is vital to vigorously scrutinize who to work with,” the report advised.


Wind power systems project to contribute 15% to Al Yamamah Steel’s revenue, its president says

Wind power systems project to contribute 15% to Al Yamamah Steel’s revenue, its president says
Updated 10 sec ago

Wind power systems project to contribute 15% to Al Yamamah Steel’s revenue, its president says

Wind power systems project to contribute 15% to Al Yamamah Steel’s revenue, its president says
  • he project was announced last February, with an investment of around SR300 million, and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2023

The new wind energy systems project of Al Yamamah Steel is expected to generate 15 percent of its total revenue, the company’s president Youssef Bazaid said.

The project was announced last February, with an investment of around SR300 million, and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2023.

It is part of the company’s renewable energy transition, following the creation of a solar energy system in 2019, Bazaid told Al-Arabiya in an interview.

The new project will have a capacity of 520 megawatts (MW) per year, which only covers 35 percent of its 1600 (MW) target in the coming years.

It will only initially serve domestic demand, Bazaid said.


Institutional part of ACWA Power IPO oversubscribed within minutes

Institutional part of ACWA Power IPO oversubscribed within minutes
Updated 3 min 17 sec ago

Institutional part of ACWA Power IPO oversubscribed within minutes

Institutional part of ACWA Power IPO oversubscribed within minutes
  • Less than 10 minutes into the offering, which will end on Sept. 27, requests from private institutions exceeded some 81.2 million shares

The public offering of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power drew strong demand from local and international institutional investors  just minutes after the bidding started, CNBC reported, citing banking sources.

Less than 10 minutes into the offering, which will end on Sept. 27, requests from private institutions exceeded some 81.2 million shares, the source added

The Saudi utility company earlier announced the price range for the offering, as it aims to raise $1.2 billion.

Half-owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, the company is selling 81.2 million shares in a range of SR51-SR56 per share or an 11.1 percent stake.

The listing will value ACWA at up to $11 billion – making it the biggest offering in Riyadh since Saudi Aramco’s listing.

Its chairman, Mohammed Abunayyan, earlier said investors, including Americans and Europeans, expressed strong interest in investing ACWA Power.


IPO will cement ‘solutions by stc’ position as region’s top digital enabler: CEO

IPO will cement ‘solutions by stc’ position as region’s top digital enabler: CEO
Updated 7 min 18 sec ago

IPO will cement ‘solutions by stc’ position as region’s top digital enabler: CEO

IPO will cement ‘solutions by stc’ position as region’s top digital enabler: CEO
  • Solutions by STC recently announced it will go public, offering 20 percent of the company’s shares

DUBAI: The planned initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s Solutions by STC will cement the company’s position as a top digital enabler in the region, its Chief Executive Officer Omar Al-Noamani said.

A unit of the Saudi Telecom Company, Solutions by STC recently announced it will go public, offering 20 percent of the company’s shares.

The move is expected to increase the company’s capital, Al-Noamani said in an interview with CNBC Arabia, and to explore expansion opportunities in other markets.

“We are in a very good financial standing,” the CEO said, noting the 31 percent increase of the company’s cumulative average of net revenue in the last three years.

Net profit also increased by 13 percent in the same period, he added.

He said this strong financial solvency will allow the company to distribute IPO proceeds directly as divided to shareholders.

The dividend policy, which is yet to be announced, will depend on performance evaluation and growth rates, Al-Noamani said.


Telecom giants finalize Indonesia merger in $6bn deal

Telecom giants finalize Indonesia merger in $6bn deal
Updated 6 min 9 sec ago

Telecom giants finalize Indonesia merger in $6bn deal

Telecom giants finalize Indonesia merger in $6bn deal

DUBAI: Two top telecommunications companies in Indonesia have reached an agreement to merge their businesses — pegged to be one of the largest telecom deals in Asia valued at $6 billion.

Ooredoro and CK Hutchison will merge their telecoms businesses to form “a larger, commercially stronger, and more competitive world-class telecoms and internet company,” the pair said in a statement.

The new company will be called Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison.

Under the deal, assets and infrastructure of both companies will be shared, as well as their expertise in international markets such as Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa region.

“This merger is a landmark deal for Asia and for Ooredoo Group. It furthers our strategy to drive more value from our portfolio and accelerate digitalization across our global footprint,” Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, chairman of the Ooredoo Group, said.

The deal will give CK Hutchison newly issued shares in Indosat Ooredoo, amounting to 21.8 percent, and PT Tiga Telekomunikasi Indonesia, working out to 10.8 percent.

It will also acquire 50 percent shares in Ooredoo Asia, and an additional 16.7 percent stake from Ooredoo Group for a cash consideration of $387 million.

Both companies will each own 50 percent of Ooredoo Asia, set to be renamed Ooredoo Hutchison Asia, which will retain a controlling 65.6 percent ownership stake in the merged company.

The new company will remain listed on the Indonesian Stock Exchange, with the Indonesian government retaining 9.6 percent in shares.


Saudi-backed Lucid breaks Tesla's rating on electric car range

Saudi-backed Lucid breaks Tesla's rating on electric car range
Updated 13 min 20 sec ago

Saudi-backed Lucid breaks Tesla's rating on electric car range

Saudi-backed Lucid breaks Tesla's rating on electric car range
  • Lucid's Air Dream model can go for 520 miles between charges
  • It beats Tesla's record

Saudi-backed electric car makers Lucid Motors are celebrating after one of its models smashed Tesla’s record for distance covered without needing a recharge.

The company’s Lucid Air Dream Edition R has been given a rating of 520 miles by the Environmental Protection Agency, making it the longest-range electric vehicle ever rated by the organisation.

The rating means the US-based company, which received $1 billion from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund in April 2019, has beaten Tesla’s longest range vehicle by more than 100 miles.

Earlier this month it was announced that Lucia Motors will produce vehicles in Saudi Arabia by 2024, with the paperwork still being finalised

Commenting on the EPA-rating, CEO Peter Rawlinson said: “I’m delighted that our Lucid Air Dream Edition Range has been officially accredited with a range of 520 miles by the EPA, a number I believe to be a new record for any EV. Crucially, this landmark has been achieved by Lucid’s world-leading, in-house EV technology, not by simply installing an oversize battery pack,

“Our race-proven 900V battery and BMS technology, our miniaturized drive units, coupled with our Wunderbox technology endow Lucid Air with ultra-high efficiency, enabling it to travel more miles from less battery energy. The next generation EV has truly arrived!”

In an exclusive drive with car review site MotorTrend, the Lucid Air Dream Edition R was taken from Los Angeles to San Francisco and back down to Lucid HQ in Newark — a 445-mile trip — with 72 miles to spare. 

Lucid Motors described this as “real-world testing, air conditioning on, pacing with the flow of traffic. The cruise control was set at a practical 67 mph”.

After the journey, MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman said: “Remember range anxiety? As with the internal combustion engine, it's a thing of the past.”

Lucid Motors — which is 67 percent owned by the Public Investment Fund — will be hoping the rating drums up pre-orders for their vehicles.

It’s flagship Lucid Air model, priced at over $70,000, is due to launch early next year but has received only 11,000 orders to date.

That’s about half as many Teslas have been sold every month in the US alone this year, and just under 388,000 cars in total were sold in Saudi Arabia in 2020.