Smart Axiata buys 30% stake in digital content player Sabay

smart axiata sabay
From left: Chy Sila, co-founder and CEO of Sabay, and Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata

Cambodian cellco Smart Axiata announced that it will acquire a 30% equity stake in local digital content and entertainment provider Sabay Digital Plus in a deal that both companies hope will strengthen their digital position in the country.

Under the terms of the deal, Sabay will fence off its gaming operations to maintain 100% control, while taking on Smart as a partner in news and video content, payment platforms, digital advertising and other future digital initiatives.

Areas where the companies could see an opportunity for collaboration and create great value add include local news and entertainment, video on demand, specialized paid content, digital advertising and payments.

No financial details were disclosed.

“This investment in Sabay is aligned with our strategy for meeting the growing demands of our data hungry subscribers,” said Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt. “Combining Smart’s data leadership with Sabay’s compelling content will allow us to offer more lifestyle value propositions. We see many synergies across both businesses – in our customer bases, platforms, products and also digital talents.

Sabay – whose name means “Happiness” or “fun” in Khmer – was founded in 2007 and has grown to employ nearly 200 people.

“This new opportunity that allows us to have a stake in content production as well as content distribution is a perfect fit for both our companies and it’s fair to say that some of the longer-term results of this partnership haven’t even been dreamt of yet,” said Chy Sila, Sabay co-founder and CEO.

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