Swedish audiobook streaming group Storytel, is acquiring UAE-based Arabic audiobook platform Kitab Sawti.
Founded in 2016 by Sebastian Bond and Anton Pollak, Kitab Sawti boasts more than 2,500 audiobooks including 80 per cent of the regional best-sellers.
The company claims to have witnessed an annual sales growth of 79 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year. As per the deal, Sebastian Bond, co-founder and current CEO of Kitab Sawti, will lead and oversee Storytel’s business in the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena).
“I am really thrilled and excited about the great opportunities that the combination of Storytel and Kitab Sawti will offer Arabic consumers, publishers and authorships. Online media consumption is booming in the Middle East, as is the confidence local consumers are showing in digital products and payment solutions,” said Jonas Tellander, CEO and founder of Storytel.
“The positive trend in customer interest for audiobooks that we presently see in the region, clearly indicates the big potential. And this potential is also reflected in the leading combined skills and experiences of Storytel and Kitab Sawti’s amazing local Arabic teams.”
Founded in 2017, Storytel hosts more than 500,000 audiobook and ebook titles on a global scale, with over 1.2 million paying subscribers and operations across 20 markets.
“We are really proud of what Kitab Sawti and our amazing team has achieved with our businesses in the Arabic region. I am confident that Storytel, with its technical capabilities, entrepreneurial spirit and multi-market experience, will be an excellent owner and develop these businesses further. I am also eager to experience the potential that will be unleashed as we continue to fuel the passion of the consumers and the unique qualities of the Arabic authorships, publishers and cultural life”, said Bond, CEO at Kitab Sawti.