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Sango: The most noteworthy new star in the MENA

The new voice app is taking the Middle East by storm.

Sango: The most noteworthy new star in the MENA

Sango, an audio social app, is a new hit in MENA.

In China’s Internet industry, user growth has been a notable theme. As domestic growth peaked, investing overseas has become an outstanding choice for many Chinese giants. However, some exceptional Internet companies going overseas are ahead of the game. These companies are fiercely expanding their territory overseas: TRANSSION–focusing on the African mobile phone market; MICO–a hot social live streaming app in Southeast Asia, India, and Pakistan.

  • Sango, a rising star among the overseas Chinese Internet companies, has made remarkable achievements–just one year in. So, what is the secret of Sango’s success, and what opportunities are there for future growth?
  • Sango focuses on real-time voice chat, interactive games, group chats, virtual family, social posting, and other social functions. All functions serve the primary goal of the application: to help youth to build a sense of community.
  • By August 2020, it had rapidly accumulated more than 7 million registered users and signed more than 10,000 anchors in only four months.
  • Data from the app indicates that it surpassed many entertainment apps installed in various Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and covers more than 100 countries worldwide.
  • Yalla, a company with a similar history, had five years on the line. Its number of active users exceeded 1,500,000, and the average user length reached 30 minutes, new user retention rate reached 15%. After a year of the first launch, Sango’s number of active users surpassed 120,000. Yalla’s average user length, the new user retention rate is equivalent to Sango’s one-year achievement.

The reason for Sango’s accelerated growth is connected to two factors. One is choosing the right track to compete in, and the other is the localized operation strategy to enhance the user’s “sense of belonging.”

The market for media and entertainment in the Middle East was valued at $35.11 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to $69.83 billion by 2026. However, despite this growth, the online penetration of media and entertainment markets in the MENA region is low.

Sango is more localized than mainstream social networks.

There is a massive potential for the online social and entertainment market in the MENA region. It reports that the global Muslim population is about to break through 1.9 billion, and with a 2% growth rate per year, it has accounted for 26% of the world’s total population. Moreover, this group with a large base is young and has a strong per capita spending power. According to Frost & Sullivan, in 2019, there were 137 million active online social and entertainment users in the Middle East and North Africa, spending an average of 232 minutes per person per day.

Sango is an ecosphere for distinct communities. 

Where there is demand, there is business. Jean Wang, CEO of Sango, intends to provide MENA communities with a place to connect with a more far-reaching society.

Sango’s product design incorporates many Islamic elements, respects the unique tribal system of Muslim culture in the Middle East, and enhances the recognition and belonging of target users to Sango. For example, in the social and game scenes of Sango, everyone, regardless of their identity in real life, can choose to become the chief, elder, or civilian of the tribe and establish their own family and tribe. Again, this is based on understanding the solid Islamic culture in the Middle East.

Sango fully draws on the successful experience of Chinese Internet companies going overseas and exports and assigns general capabilities to local teams to build industrial ecological chains in different countries.

Sango provides a variety of social and entertainment scenarios.

During Sango’s first anniversary celebration, users expressed their love and appreciation for the app. “It’s the best audio broadcast and voice chatting app. I have met many talented and respectful people during my downtime. This app brightens my day,” a user from Dubai commented.

The motivation to support a good user experience is that the core members of Sango have rich Internet products and operational experience. They previously worked for sizable Chinese Internet companies, such as Bigo Live, YY, Alibaba, Kwai, Baidu. Sango plans to expand to the Southeast Asian market and become a unicorn social product in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries in 2022. Sango is also targeting Tencent and Alibaba, layout payment, e-commerce, music, film and television, and other tracks in the medium and long term.

Sango’s vision and strategy laid a solid foundation for its development, relying on a substantial localization capacity; Sango is expected to continue maintaining high growth. The scale of accessible users overseas has considerable potential.