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Arré raises funding from Enam Holdings; Ronnie Screwvala exits


Arré, UDigital’s digital media brand, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Enam Holdings for a ‘significant minority stake’, reports Mint. Arré plans to use the funding for developing content and scale the business and product offering.

With this funding, Ronnie Screwvala has exited the company. Screwvala was part of the founding team at Arré, along with B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko, who have acquired the residual stake held by Unilazer Ventures and Screwvala. According to Afaqs, Saikumar brought on Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri as a co-founder in Arré in February and also took a controlling interest in the company. At that time, Screwvala would continue as an investor with a significant minority stake.

Apalya Tech acquisition
In December last year, Arré 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, joined Arré. With the acquisition Arré would use Apalya’s technology and content to distribute over its platform.

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.

Indian Express partnership
In August 2015, 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 2015.

Arré was announced by UDigital in July 2015. It was ideated to be a storytelling platform across genres and formats. The platform would feature text, graphic art, podcasts and fiction as well as reality videos based on fact and fiction for entertainment. The company seems to have collaborated with writers, artists, journalists, independent filmmakers, production houses and talent from fiction, reality and non fiction genres.

Digital content consumption on mobile devices
In September 2015, we reported that 88.7% of payments for digital content in India were from mobile devices, according to a report from payment operator Fortumo. Fortumo’s data from January 2015 to June 2015 showed that desktop devices accounted for 8.6% and tablets for 2.7%.

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