Mumbai-based BookMyShow (BMS) has announced the acquisition of nFusion, an IT consultancy and infrastructure company. The acquisition was made to strengthen BookMyShow’s music streaming service offering, JukeBox.
The latest acquisition is an all-cash deal, the terms of which remain undisclosed.
Jukebox is a service offered by BookMyShow for streaming songs and downloading them. This service was begun in June 2017. The nFusion acquisition will reportedly bolster Jukebox’s backend infrastructure.
NFusion was started in 2009 in Sharjah, UAE by Prabhakar Reddy, Sivagurunathan S, and Shoaib G.M. Khan. It is an IT consultancy offering a range of services such as web design, web application, web hosting etc. On the solutions side, it offers content delivery solutions as well as on-demand video streaming. NFusion has a presence in the UAE, India, and Hong Kong.
After the deal is formalised, Sivaragunathan S will oversee the architecture, development and operations teams at BookMyShow. Khan will continue to lead the nFusion team inside BMS. The third co-founder Prabhakar Reddy has left to pursue outside interests.
Commenting on the acquisition, Parikshit Dar, Director, BookMyShow said, “We have already established our video content vertical and are now excited to foray into audio entertainment through our offering Jukebox. The nFusion team has brought with them immense experience, innovation capability as well as expertise in building and managing scalable tech solutions.”
BookMyShow: A Year Of Reinvention And Acquisitions
BookMyShow was founded in Mumbai in 1999 and launched in 2007. According to an official statement, BookMyShow is now present in over 650 towns and cities across India. In one of the largest fundraises of 2016, BookMyShow raked in $80 Mn from US-based Stripes Group with participation from existing investors such as Network18, Accel Partners, and SAIF Partners, in July 2016. The company then rolled out a brand-new version of its Android app v5.0.7, simplified the interface and caters to users in regional languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Kannada besides the default English language option.
This rollout was followed by the acquisition of MastiTickets in January 2017. MastiTickets has a strong presence in Andhra Pradhesh and Telangana, a new region BMS was looking to tap into at the point. Less than a month later, BookMyShow acquired a majority stake in Townscript, a DIY event registration and ticketing portal. This move was focussed on strengthening its ticketing requirements of small and medium events such as workshops, marathons, trips, college festivals etc.
BookMyShow made its third acquisition in July 2017, taking over Mumbai-based local food and recommendation engine Burrp. At the time of the acquisition, Mansi Vora, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions at BMS talked about where Burrp fit into the BMS platform by stating that ‘movie going in India is a social activity and food is an integral part of it.’ nFusion marks BookMyShow’s fourth acquisition in 2017, making for an extremely aggressive strategy that is far removed from its core basics of just booking tickets and movies.
BookMyShow’s Jukebox Looks To Take On Music Streaming Giants Hungama, Saavn, and Gaana
In the meantime, BookMyShow also launched Jukebox in June 2017. According to the website, users can choose from a catalogue and avail of free song downloads every time they book movie tickets. At the moment, the site claims that users can claim 10 free song downloads for every transaction. As per an official statement, currently, Jukebox offers over 1.5 Mn songs to choose from and has already been witnessing 300% growth m-o-m in the number of downloads.
Online music streaming in India has strong players, namely Hungama, Gaana, and Saavn. Gaana is run under the aegis of Times Internet and received investment from smartphone manufacturer Micromax in 2015. Gaana claims to have 25 Mn monthly active users, and crossing 500 Mn monthly streams globally in October 2016, and even introduced a new feature called Android Auto in March 2017.
Music streaming service Saavn managed to raise about $100 Mn Series C from Tiger Global in 2015 as well, followed by investments from former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin and Guy Oseary. Over the last few months it has launched several initiatives such as Artist Originals and AiR (Artist-in-Residence).
Hungama.com recently received a $25 Mn infusion led by Xiaomi, in April 2016. It reportedly has over 65 Mn monthly active users across all its platforms, consuming a content base of over 3.5 Mn premium digital units across audio and video.
BookMyShow is the undisputed market leader in both movies and events category with almost a 70% market share, as per industry estimates. With the nFusion acquisition, BookMyShow is now looking to tap into the online music streaming space which is worth a potential $9.7 bn by 2022 globally, which has been firmly captured by these prominent players.