As digital payments and ecommerce giant Paytm strives to make a formidable place for itself in the entertainment ticketing business, it has inched further towards advanced talks with Chennai-based online movie ticketing platform owned by Alibaba Pictures, TicketNew to acquire the company.
As Paytm now stands first in line to acquire TicketNew, it will be acquiring the company from Alibaba Pictures at the price at which entertainment ticketing company was bought by Alibaba Pictures. This will peg the deal between $30 Mn and $40 Mn, reports ET. The report also claims that sources familiar with the development have said that the acquisition is likely to be completed by next month.
Headquartered in Chennai, TicketNew is an arm of Orbgen Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and was founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, who is currently the chief executive of the organisation. Both Paytm and TicketNew are tight lipped about the situation.
Alibaba Pictures, the entertainment arm of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group, had acquired a majority stake in TicketNew in June 5, 2017, making the acquisition its first outside China in the Internet ticketing industry.
Paytm is giving a clear competition to market leader BookMyShow in its journey to enter the entertainment Internet industry. The acquisition of TicketNew would, without a doubt, strengthens its position in the market.
One of the sources cited above also stated that the payments firm is likely to invest some capital in TicketNew’s business for a faster growth in the south Indian market.
Currently, Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial hold the largest shares in Paytm parent One97 Communications. The two entities are collectively holding over 40% stake.
In July 2017, Paytm had acquired up a majority stake in the events ticketing venture Insider.in. Insider.in is run by OML Entertainment. As per a report by The Ken, Paytm is taking a majority stake in Insider.in for $5.42 Mn (INR 35 Cr).
Last year, Paytm also became an online platform that sold the largest number of movie tickets of over 52 Mn, growing over 500% in the volume of the tickets sold since its launch in May 2016, the company said.
There are two factors that contribute to Paytm’s growth in this vertical: a) its reach in tier II and tier III cities; b) its sizeable ewallet user base.
For Paytm, which is aiming to sell 100 Mn tickets in 2018, TicketNew’s presence in about 1,500 screens in southern India, especially in marquee single and neighbourhood theatres, along with its regional chains will be a crucial catalyst in its efforts to grab a larger share of the online entertainment ticketing business. Regional cinemas account for about 35% of Paytm’s entertainment ticketing revenues.
Paytm operates across 675 cities and is functional in over 4,000 movie screens with over 40%, or 1,600 screens, being added from regional chains last year. Judging by the numbers, it is not far when Paytm shall be the biggest platform for online or digital inclusion in the country.