With this move, Arré aims to be a content-cum-platform player.
Arré, the digital media brand from U Digital, a venture founded by Ronnie Screwvala, B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko, has announced the acquisition of 100 per cent of Apalya Technologies, founded by Vamshi Reddy and Shiva Bayyapunedi. With this move, Arré strengthens its video play and aims to be among the country's leading digital content and platform brand, combining its multi-genre, multi-format content plans with a technology platform.
Apalya is a technology company with a proprietary video platform and content access relationships with telecom operators. This transaction will be effected via a 100 per cent buy out of shares from all investors including IDG, Kalaari, Cisco, Mumbai Angels, and the founders.
Apalya claims to run the OTT platform in partnership with more than 10 mobile operators across four countries, reaching 10 million subscribers annually and currently earning Rs 40 crore in revenue with positive EBITDA margins. It also has plans to expand and launch services in the next six months in West Asia/Africa and some parts of South east Asia.
Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder, Arré says, "The OTT space is throwing up massive opportunities that bring together the twin forces of scale and creativity. We have already seen this space take off in the US and in other mature markets. We are a digital-first and digital-only company, and our focus is and will remain on creating original content in all forms. These will differentiate us and yet allow us to be complementary to many of our peers."
B Saikumar, co-founder and managing director, Arré, comments, "The acquisition gives us wings to move rapidly from being a content player to a 'content and platform' player. We aim to operate at the intersection of creativity and technology and the Apalya acquisition is a key move in that direction. Besides, content will need tremendous distribution focus and Apalya's telecom relationships will add power to our pursuit of reach and access." According to Saikumar, digital advertising and digital payments are seeing seismic growth shifts. "Arré will be well-positioned to exploit these twin revenue lines for its content offerings," he says.
For Vamshi Reddy, CEO, Apalya, Arré and its founders represent the next wave of digital innovation and disruption in Asia. "And, with our expertise of the past decade, we are happy to share this vision with Arre, and work together to create a true blue digital content and platform company, a strong consumer base and at scale," adds Reddy.