Arré, the digital media brand from U Digital - a venture founded by Ronnie Screwvala, B. Saikumar and Ajay Chacko - today announced the acquisition of 100% of Apalya Technologies, founded by Vamshi Reddy and Shiva Bayyapunedi. With this move, Arré, which plans its launch early next year, strengthens its video play and aims to be the country’s leading digital content and platform brand, combining its multi-genre, multi-format content plans with a formidable technology platform.
Apalya is a technology company with a cutting edge proprietary video platform, strong engineering talent as well as content access relationships with telecom operators. This transaction will be effected via a 100% buy out of shares from all investors including IDG, Kalaari, Cisco, Mumbai Angels and the Founders among others. Apalya runs the OTT platform in partnership with more than 10 mobile operators across 4 countries, reaching 10 million subscribers annually and currently earning INR 40 crores in revenue with positive EBITDA margins. The telecom ecosystem and service offerings in India have begun to see a rapid change with the rollout of 4G and the rapidly growing appetite for video and Apalya is rightly positioned to leverage this opportunity.
Apalya has also made deep in-roads in various international markets and it plans to expand and launch services in the next six months in the Middle east / Africa and some parts of South east Asia.
The Founders of Apalya, Chief Executive Officer Vamshi Reddy and Chief Technology officer, Shiva Bayyapunedi will join the founding team of Arré with immediate effect.
Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder - Arré said “The OTT space is throwing up massive opportunities that brings together the twin forces of scale and creativity. We’ve already seen this space take off in the US and in other mature markets and we will partner with many and work closely with some on co-creating the next level of digital content. We are a Digital-First and Digital-only company and our focus is and will remain creating original content in all forms and these will differentiate us and yet allow us to be complimentary to many of our peers.”
B.Saikumar, Co-founder and MD - Arré, commented “This acquisition gives us wings to move rapidly from being a content player to a ‘content & 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. Digital advertising and Digital payments are seeing seismic growth shifts and Arré will be well positioned to exploit these twin revenue lines for its content offerings.”
Vamshi Reddy, CEO, Apalya added “Arré and its founders represents the next wave of digital innovation and disruption in Asia and with all our expertise of the past decade we are happy to join in on this vision and work together to create a true blue digital content and platform company, a strong consumer base and at scale.”