Arré, UDigital’s digital media brand, has acquired Apalya Technologies via a 100% buyout of shares from all of Apalya’s investors including IDG, Cisco, Kalaari, Mumbai Angels and the Founders among others. Post acquisition, founders of Apalya, CEO Vamshi Reddy and CTO Shiva Bayyapunedi, will join Arré.
With this acquisition Arré will use Apalya’s technology and content to distribute over its platform. As of now, Apalya provides movies, live TV and movies on demand over iOS and Android apps. It has partnerships with Warner Brothers, India Today Group, Viacom, Star, Sun TV and Times Television Network for content, and claims to be in the process of signing up more entertainment houses.
Apalya is also available as an OTT (over-the-top) solution in partnership with 10 telecom operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Docomo, BSNL, Reliance Mobile and Idea in 4 countries. It currently claims to serve over 10 million subscribers annually and plans to expand its services in the Middle east, Africa and some parts of Southeast Asia in the next six months.
Apalya funding: Note that Apalya had raised $10 million from Cisco, along with other investors back in 2013, with a focus on providing OTT solutions. It’s other rounds of fundings, from Qualcomm and IDG in January 2011, were raised largely keeping in mind India’s 3G auctions and enhancing its capabilities to deliver video content over 3G networks.
Arré was announced by UDigital in July, with plans to go live later this year. It was ideated to be a storytelling platform across genres and formats. The platform will feature text, graphic art, podcasts and fiction as well as reality videos based on fact and fiction for entertainment. Arré seems to have collaborated with writers, artists, journalists, independent filmmakers, production houses and talent from fiction, reality and non fiction genres.
Indian Express partnership: Note that in August, the Indian Express entered into a strategic partnership with Arré to jointly produce investigative documentaries. The documentaries would be distributed to digital and linear platforms across the globe and be targeted at youth and mainstream audience. At the time the company said it would go live at the end of this year.