India: Enam Holdings buys stake in digital content platform Arré, Screwvala exits

Ronnie Screwvala Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Investment firm Enam Holdings on Tuesday acquired a significant minority stake in digital content platform Arré operated by UDigital Content Pvt. Ltd, the company said in a statement.

The deal marks the exit of serial entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala who was part of the original founding team of Arré which includes B. Saikumar, the former chief executive of news broadcast company TV18 and Ajay Chacko, former chief operating officer at the same company. Saikumar didn’t disclose the details of the deal.

Saikumar and Chacko along with the Enam Group have also acquired the residual stake held in the company by Unilazer Ventures and Ronnie Screwvala, the company said in a statement.

“Arré and Enam have a unified vision of making Arré the definitive multi-genre, multi-format digital destination for a whole new world of digital consumers pan-India and going forward in geographies outside India,” said Saikumar, managing director of Arré.

In February, the company had realigned its shareholding pattern with Saikumar acquiring controlling stake in the company while Screwvala continued on board as a minority shareholder.

Enam Holdings could not be reached for a comment immediately. Screwvala did not respond to repeated calls and a text message from Mint.

Screwvala and Saikumar are said to have had different styles of management and that is what led to the split, according to a person aware of the development. A buyout was in the making since February, when the firm realigned its shareholding pattern. Saikumar also made Sanjay Ray Chaudhuri, a former director and co-founder of TV18, the third co-founder in Arré.

Enam Group has been an early investor in several media companies. Its past investments include entertainment channel Zee TV, TV18 and production company Balaji Telefilms, according to Arré statement.

Enam’s investments in Arré will be used to develop content, the overall product offering and to scale up the business.

In December, Arré had acquired Apalya Technologies, a Hyderabad-based video delivery company, in an all-cash deal.

Arré’s business model revolves around branded content and subscription revenue. Digital content consumption and advertising, especially video advertising, has witnessed a surge in growth because of better broadband speeds and the roll-out of high-speed 4G networks. Along with digital payments, it could also throw open the possibility of consumer pay revenues in this space, the company said.

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.