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Ronnie Screwvala?s Arr? acquires video streaming venture Apalya

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MUMBAI: In a bid to strengthen its video play capabilities, Ronnie Screwvala?s digital media brand Arr? has acquired a 100 per cent stake in Apalya Technologies, founded by Vamshi Reddy and Shiva Bayyapunedi.

Reddy, who heads the company as CEO and Bayyapunedi, who is the chief technology officer, will join the founding team of Arr? with immediate effect.

With this acquisition, Arr? 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 proprietary video platform, strong engineering talent as well as 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 among others.

Apalya runs 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.

With the telecom ecosystem and service offerings in India undergoing a rapid change with the 4G rollout coupled with the rapidly growing appetite for video, Apalya is rightly positioned to leverage this opportunity.

The company has also made in-roads in various international markets and plans to expand and launch services in the Middle East/Africa and some parts of South-east Asia over the next six months.

Screwvala 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.?

Arr? co-founder and MD B Saikumar added, ?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 Arr? will be well positioned to exploit these twin revenue lines for its content offerings.?

Reddy said, ?Arr? 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.?

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