Arre, a yet to be launched digital media company which is a venture by serial entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala and former media executives B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko, has acquired Apalya Technologies – a Hyderabad based video delivery company in an all-cash deal. As per sources, Screwvala and partners have paid between Rs 20 crore and Rs 25 crore for the technology company.
The move will allow Arre to add platform capabilities to its digital content play. “With this acquisition, we not only get one of the best over-the-top (OTT) platforms in business but also inherit long standing relationships with telcos — in India and also some global geographies,” said B Saikumar, co-founder and MD of Arre. On the revenue front, the model will be built around branded content and solutions, advertising, transactions/subscription, and post this acquisition, also platform-related activities.
The acquisition has led to Apalya’s existing investors’ exit. Apalya was backed by IDG ventures, Cisco, Kalaari Capital and a group of angel investors. Moreover, as part of the deal, the Co-Founders of Apalya, Vamshi Reddy and Shiva, will get a 2% sweat equity in UDigital, the parent company of Arre. Arre will be a platform offering digital content in various formats like video series, podcasts and documentaries.
“We are very clearly focused on original content that’s tailor made for digital. Unlike many traditional media houses, we don’t have legacy businesses to protect. Our DNA is digital and our USP will be creativity,” said Screwvala.