Storytel to launch in Israel first quarter of 2021 – acquires audiobook service iCast Ltd

Storytel AB (publ) (“Storytel”), one of the world’s leading audiobook and e-book streaming services, is acquiring iCast Ltd (“iCast”), an audiobook streaming pioneer on the Israeli market. The acquisition lays the foundations for Storytel’s launch in Israel in the first quarter of 2021.

iCast Ltd is a first mover and leader on the emerging Israeli audiobook market. Originally founded and launched as a podcast service in 2006, iCast initiated its deployment into the audiobook arena in 2010 entering agreements with local publishers before launching Israel’s first audiobook service the following year.
Today, iCast is a trusted and respected partner in the Israeli publisher community as well as in Israeli society, thanks to both its passionate customer base and the company’s recurring collaborations with public libraries and schools throughout the country. iCast has thus grown to become synonymous with audiobook experiences on the Israeli market, offering a quality catalogue of 2,500+ titles in Hebrew, including bestsellers and classics such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, David Baldacci’s crime novels, and best-selling titles by prominent Israeli authors such as Meir Shalev, David Grossman and Amos Oz.

“We are excited to take Storytel to the tech-savvy Israeli consumer market with its rich storytelling traditions, confidence in digital products and payment solutions, and high degree of social interactivity both online and offline. The combination of iCast’s unique local expertise and Storytel’s proven commitment to investing in user-friendly technology, content and unmatched accessibility to popular stories is a strong combination. And it certainly implies large growth potential and an awesome new chapter for the Israeli story lovers and the audiobook” says Jonas Tellander, CEO and founder of Storytel.

The acquisition of iCast is a key part of Storytel’s preparations for its launch in Israel, a country of approximately nine million inhabitants. The launch is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021. Storytel’s leading global business and content offering is growing rapidly.
Today, the company’s expansion trajectory covers more than 1.2 million subscribers, operations on 20 markets and a vast library of more than 500,000 titles on a global scale.

“I’m very proud and thankful for the iCast team’s dedication and devotion that has created both an audiobook market in Israel and a business that shows profit for the third year in a row. Storytel’s unique global experience, scale and technical capability undoubtedly create the prerequisites to take the Israeli audiobook market to the next level regarding user experience, content development, production and marketing, making the audiobook relevant to even more consumer groups on the Israeli market. It is going to be an exciting journey that we can’t wait to start” says Moti Lippmann, CEO and founder of iCast, who will assume the role as Country Manager Israel at Storytel following the acquisition.
 
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price which will not have a substantial impact on the Storytel Group’s finances. The purchase price will be paid partly in cash and partly through the issuance of shares in Storytel AB (publ). The closing is expected to take place on 1 October 2020.

FNCA Sweden AB is the company’s certified adviser. FNCA can be reached at info@fnca.se or +46 8 528 00 399.

For more information, please contact: 
Dan Panas, Head of Communications, Storytel AB
Tel: +46 70 186 52 90
Email: dan.panas@storytel.com 
 

About Storytel
Storytel is one of the world’s leading audiobook and e-book streaming services and offers unlimited listening and reading of more than 500 000 titles on a global scale. Our vision is to make the world a more empathetic place with great stories to be shared and enjoyed by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Storytel is a digital platform provider as well as a comprehensive publishing group. The streaming business area offers subscriptions for audiobooks and e-books under the Storytel and Mofibo brands. Storytel’s publishing business area is carried out through the publishing houses Norstedts, Massolit, StorySide, Printz Publishing, People’s Press, Rabén & Sjögren, B.Wahlströms, Gummerus Kustannus and Norstedts Kartor. Ztory – a subscribed digital read-all-you-can streaming service for newspapers and magazines, is part of Storytel since January 2019. Storytel operates in 20 markets around the globe and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.