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While Paytm Clocked 5x Growth In Online Ticket Sale in FY17, BookMyShow Saw Its Losses Widen 138 Times

While Paytm Clocked 5x Growth In Online Ticket Sale in FY17, BookMyShow Saw Its Losses Widen 138 Times

During The Last Fiscal, BookMyShow’s Expenses Doubled To $73 Mn, While Operational Revenues Surged By 27%

Mumbai-headquartered online ticketing platform BookMyShow reported a 27% jump in operational revenues to $46.2 Mn (INR 300.6 Cr) in FY17, from $36.2 Mn (INR 236 Cr) in the fiscal before that.

As per its filings with Registrar of Companies accessed by Inc42, the company’s business in India alone generated over $46 Mn (INR 299.5 Cr) in operational revenues during the last financial year.

The documents further revealed that, while BookMyShow’s online ticket booking arm clocked a 30% surge in terms of value from $27.1 Mn (INR 176.7 Cr) in FY16 to $35.3 Mn (INR 230 Cr) in FY17, the growth rate was nearly half of that registered in the year-ago period.

At present, movie ticketing accounts for around 60%-65% of the platform’s overall ticketing revenues.

During the fiscal year ending in March 2017, the company’s total expenses nearly doubled $38.1 Mn (INR 248 Cr) in FY16 to $72.7 Mn (INR 473 Cr). This, as per its regulatory filings, came on the back of a four-fold increase in BookMyShow’s advertising expenses, which reached $22.5 Mn (INR 146.5 Cr) in FY18 compared to $4.6 Mn (INR 30 Cr) in the year-ago period.

Consequently, its losses increased by 138 times, touching $21.4 Mn (INR 139 Cr) in the last fiscal, as opposed to a mere $153.6K (INR 1 Cr) of net loss in the year ending in March 31, 2016.

In the document, BookMyShow stated, “In FY18, with the objective to further grow this category, expand the market size and increase penetration for online entertainment ticketing, BookMyShow made numerous strategic and long-term investments in new and existing businesses and territories.”

“These investments, which have already started to yield results, are in line with our sound business strategy and vital for the overall development of the ecosystem we operate in,” the online ticketing company’s RoC filings further read.

BookMyShow Growth Story: 2007 To Present

BookMyShow was founded in Mumbai in 1999 and officially launched in 2007. It is currently present in over 650 towns and cities across 4,500 screens. In 2012, Accel Partners invested $18 Mn in the company. BookMyShow later raised $25 Mn in 2014 in a round led by SAIF Partners that also saw participation from existing investors Accel and Network 18.

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.

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 Pradesh and Telangana, a new region BMS was looking to tap into at the point.

Less than a month later, the online ticketing platform 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.

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.

BookMyShow made its third acquisition in July 2017, taking over Mumbai-based local food and recommendation engine Burrp. nFusion marked the online ticketing platform’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.

In September last year, WhatsApp announced the launch of WhatsApp for Business in collaboration with BookMyShow. As part of the new programme, users who book tickets on BookMyShow will now receive a message on WhatsApp with the confirmation text or an M-ticket (mobile ticket) QR Code, along with an email.

A month later, in October 2017, homegrown ecommerce unicorn Flipkart was reportedly looking to forge a strategic partnership with online ticketing platform, BookMyShow. If the deal had gone through, Flipkart would have acquired minority stake in the online ticketing platform, thereby raising the latter’s valuation to $500 Mn-$700 Mn.

Towards the beginning of this year, reports surfaced that BookMyShow was in the final stages of raising $50 Mn–$60 Mn funding from private equity firm TPG Growth. If the deal materialises, TPG will gain a 10% stake in the company.

Most recently, in the fourth week of January, following in the footsteps of PayU, the online ticketing firm announced that it was planning to discontinue its wallet service, MyWallet, by the end of February. BookMyShow’s decision to shut down its wallet was likely triggered by the RBI’s introduction of stricter guidelines on the issuance and operation of Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs), including mobile wallets.

What Online Ticketing Competitors Are Up To

In the online ticketing segment, BookMyShow faces stiff competition from digital payments giant Paytm. Recently, in the month of February, Paytm claimed to have achieved 5x growth in online ticket sale in 2017 as it sold 52 Mn movie and events tickets.

As claimed by Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer and SVP at Paytm, the company currently contributes 25%-30% towards the opening weekend box office collection of major movies. Regional movies contribute 35% of their overall sales.

It now aims to sell over 100 Mn tickets by the end of this year, and is working towards bringing onboard more regional theatres with single and multi-screens to provide them with the online exposure.

Paytm entered the segment back in March 2016 in partnership with PVR. In a short span, Paytm has scaled its presence to 660 cities, a bit ahead of  BookMyShow which is currently operational in 650 cities and towns.

However, it must be noted that while Paytm’s dominance is largely present in tier II towns and beyond, BookMyShow leads the race in metros with an average ticket size of around $3.8 (INR 250).

Recently, reports surfaced that ecommerce giant Flipkart was looking to enter the movie ticketing market. The company had earlier attempted to make a foray into the online ticketing segment with a proposed minority investment in BookMyShow, which didn’t materialise in the end.

How the entry of Flipkart will affect the market, which is already seeing increasing competition between Paytm and BookMyShow, will be interesting to watch.

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