Alibaba buys 70% stake in Chennai based online ticketing platform

Alibaba Pictures, the entertainment unit of China’s e-commerce major Alibaba Group has acquired 70% stake in India’s second-largest online ticketing platform, TicketNew for an undisclosed amount.

As the part of the acquisition, Alibaba will have its four representatives on TicketNew’s board and the firm’s promoters will have two of their representatives.

TicketNew founder and CEO Ramkumar Nammalvar who will further continue to spearhead the business said, “Alibaba plans to invest to the tune of $18.65 Mn (NR 120 Cr) over a period of time. We are delighted to work with Alibaba Pictures. This secures the future of our staff and the company for generations to come”.

“With this funding, we are hopeful that TicketNew will emerge as a good competitor in the space which is largely dominated by BookMyShow,” further he added.

The Chennai Based startup was founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, V Sasi Raman and Ravishankar Ramanujalu. The company provides online ticket booking services for movies in over 300 cities across India. It integrates single-screen theaters, film distributors, production houses and events with users and lists more than 3000 plus screens on its site.

TicketNew’s flagship product, Box Office, is an ERP platform that helps cinemas to optimize its operations. The company also offers mobile apps and customized web solutions to theaters for a smaller fee.

Orbgen Technologies, the parent company of TicketNew topline came in the financial year 2015-16 at Rs 18 crores and the company has been earning profits since half a decade now.

In the last couple of years, Alibaba Pictures has expanded its business beyond its home market. It has set up a brand new office in Los Angeles, USA, and has been looking to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. Alibaba’s investment in the entertainment industry is profitable as online ticketing is increasingly becoming popular in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions of India.

As per the industry report, the movie-ticketing market in India is estimated to between $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion, whereas online ticketing makes up for only 10-15 per cent. Hence, the country still has a huge untapped online ticketing market that needs urgent focus.