South African startup myFanPark merges with Starsona to create a global celebrity engagement platform
South African startup myFanPark has announced its merger with Silicon Valley-based celebrity engagement platform Starsona. As myFanPark enters the United States market – the company’s fourth international market expansion this year – it becomes the leading global celebrity engagement platform with a footprint across Africa, Europe, North America, and the Indian subcontinent.
The unification of the two companies comes on the back of a highly successful period for myFanPark which saw a 492% increase in the number of users on the platform and a 959% surge in total orders, with demand for certain talent increasing by 500%. As a result, the company saw its revenue climb 283%, which stimulated a range of new artists, athletes, entertainers, and influencers to join the platform around the world, and piqued Starsona Inc.’s interest in the business.
Joy Des Fountain, who will now serve as Co-CEO alongside Starsona Co-founder Peter Karpas, said: “Our goal at myFanPark is to reimagine how people around the world are able to connect, engage, share with, and inspire each other. We now offer an almost limitless range of ways for fans and celebrities from all over the world to forge authentic, highly personalized, and valuable relationships with each other. Celebrities registered on the new platform also have the ability to augment their fan and corporate engagements through a new range of individualized and unforgettable experiences. In addition to shoutout videos, fans can enjoy live calls, Q & A sessions, social media engagements, and even direct-message chats.”
When asked what prompted the two companies to join forces, Des Fountain explains, “To deliver myFanPark’s vision and international expansion plans, Starsona presented a natural fit, as it delivers best-in-class technology that enables never-before-seen forms of engagement. From the first day that we met Peter and his team, it became clear that there was a real opportunity for our two businesses to significantly add to each other’s strengths if we came together as one.”
For Karpas, who brings decades of experience having served as General Manager for North America Small & Medium Business at PayPal, Chief Marketing Officer at Intuit, and CEO of North America at Xero, “The growing desire for fans to engage more directly with celebrities represents a cultural shift and massive opportunity for our business and the talent registered on the platform. Our goal now is to further entrench ourselves in our regions through key partnerships and commercial opportunities that allow admired talent to create unique and authentic experiences for their fans or corporate clients: think career advice from business leaders, song lyrics from musicians, or coaching tips from world famous sporting heroes. Now anything is possible.”
As a result of the merger, fans can engage with more than 2,400 stars from around the world – from record-holding NFL All Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens and “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Tori Spelling to South African Springbok Faf de Klerk and award-winning hip hop artist Gigi LaMayne, and Indian Premier League superstar Robin Uthappa to German football legend Roman Weidenfeller.
The new platform won’t be limited to individuals. The company is also looking to influential teams and brands to join its growing talent base. “Organizations wishing to promote and strengthen their association with talent registered on the platform will now be able to use myFanPark as a meeting place to boost their exposure to a combined audience of over 250 million authentic fans around the world.”
Jean de Villiers, a Co-founder of myFanPark and ex-Captain of the South African rugby team said: “With the partnership, we are adding to our ‘Fans for Good’ initiative by increasing our charity and fundraising capabilities. This means that, in addition to donating a portion of the proceeds from each paid-for interaction, the myFanPark platform will now let celebrities profile their own charities and create fundraisers for specific causes or organisations.”