The repayment by Starzplay comes ahead of the formal maturity of the private credit loan and reflects the company’s continued growth and financial strength

  • Starzplay now has a debt-free balance sheet, which will help support its IPO investment case to investors and provide the company with additional flexibility to re-invest in its business ahead of the IPO

Dubai, UAE: Ruya Partners announced today that StarzPlay, the region’s leading subscription video on-demand (SVOD) service, has repaid the AED 92 million (US$25 million) private credit loan it received from Abu Dhabi-based Ruya Partners. The loan was repaid ahead of its formal maturity. As a result of the repayment, Starzplay now has a debt-free balance sheet, which provides the company with additional flexibility to re-invest in its business for growth ahead of its IPO.

Ruya Partners is an independent, partner-owned alternative investment firm specializing in private credit investments in developing markets. Ruya is headquartered in the Abu Dhabi Global Market and focuses on mid-market and late-stage venture lending.

STARZPLAY currently reaches over 3.5 million subscribers and is installed on over 11 million devices. Accounting for a market share of 18 percent ahead of that of larger international players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the platform recorded exceptional, unique user growth of more than 50% in 2023.

Maaz Sheikh, Co-Founder and CEO of STARZPLAY, said: “We thank Ruya Partners for their support during the past 3.5 years that they have been invested in Starzplay. Throughout this period, they have been very supportive and flexible investors, enabling us to execute our strategic plan.”

Mirza Beg, Founding Partner of Ruya Partners commented: “This has been a win-win investment for Ruya and Starzplay. Not only was Ruya able to achieve the investment parameters for our investors, but equally importantly, our investment enabled Starzplay to execute its strategic plan and continue its growth trajectory. The Starzplay of today has grown into a larger, more diverse business with multiple revenue streams from streaming, advertising, and live sports.”


About Starzplay:

Ranked consistently among the region’s top three subscription video-on-demand services, STARZPLAY ( streams an extensive variety of premium content, covering Hollywood movies, exclusive shows, Arabic content, documentaries, same-time-as-the-US series – plus live sports and dedicated kids’ entertainment – to 19 countries across MENA and Pakistan.

STARZPLAY has secured tie-ups with a host of leading, global studios including Lionsgate, MGM, SHOWTIME, Paramount+, Warner Bros, Universal, Discovery and Sony Studios along with regional producers such as UMS, Eagle Films and Falcon. Users can stream the discovery+ library or catch the latest Arabic series and movies from WATCH IT at no extra content.

With the STARZPLAY Store, users can buy or rent direct-from-cinema movie releases and watch on their own terms, whilst STARZPLAY Fantasy Sports, the first free-to-play Web 3.0 fantasy sports game in MENA, gives users a new dimension to watching live matches on STARZPLAY Sports with real-time predictions and prizes.

Until 2022, STARZ (, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B) was the lead investor along with media and technology investment firms including SEQ Investors and Delta Partners. In early 2021, STARZPLAY Arabia secured its first independent financing in the region of US$25 million (approx. AED 92 million) from Abu Dhabi based Ruya Partners. In 2022, E-Vision, from e& and ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company acquired a majority equity stake of circa 57% in the company.

Reaching over to 2.9 million subscribers, STARZPLAY Arabia allows subscribers to watch its full HD and 4K content via most internet-enabled devices, smart TVs and game consoles, and is widely available on regional IPTV services. Its iOS and Android apps – installed on more than three million devices – also allow downloads for offline playback.