Maaz Sheikh is the CEO and Co-Founder of STARZPLAY (www.starzplay.com), MENA’s leading video streaming service. From its headquarters in Dubai, STARZPLAY serves 21 markets ranging from Marrakesh to Karachi with content provided in five languages.
In seven years, Maaz has established STARZPLAY as the regional leader in subscription video on demand. The success of the tech-start-up is underlined by Maaz’s focus on bringing cutting edge content and leveraging advanced technology.
Since its inception in 2014 till 2020, STARZPLAY raised over $125M in funding from Lionsgate, State Street Capital Group, and SEQ Capital. Recently, STARZPLAY also secured its first independent debt financing of $25M from Abu Dhabi based Ruya Partners.
IHS Markit has recognised STARZPLAY as MENA region’s #1 streaming service in terms of subscribers and revenue – ahead of any global and local service. Led by Maaz, STARZPLAY has won numerous awards and was recognised by Financial Times as one of the ‘Top 25 tech companies to watch out for.’
Prior to founding STARZPLAY, Maaz was the COO at OSN where he led the company through industry consolidation and growth. Earlier, he spent over a decade in Silicon Valley building two start-ups – Virtela Communications, eventually sold to NTT, and StorePerform Technologies, acquired by JD Software. Maaz started his career as an engineer with Sprint Corp.
Maaz is a regular contributor to the media industry. Last year, he won the Broadcast Executive of the Year title at the Digital Studio awards. In 2019, he was named CEO magazine’s ‘Media CEO of the Year’. Maaz has also been recognised in the ‘GCC 100 – Inspiring Leaders’ and ‘DXB 100 – Influential People Helping Shape the Emirate.’
Maaz has a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Kansas.