Alibaba brings online movie ticketing platform TicketNew under Paytm

Digital payments major Paytm has announced the acquisition of Chennai-based Orbgen Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs online ticketing platform TicketNew.

Both firms are backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed but multiple media reports have pegged the value of the transaction at $30-40 million.

“It is our goal to be the leader in every city in India and offer the opportunity to all cinema partners to reach Paytm’s customers,” said Madhur Deora, Paytm’s chief financial officer. “TicketNew founders have built a fantastic business in South India and share the same partnership mindset as Paytm.”

In June last year, Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, the entertainment arm of Alibaba Group, had picked up a majority stake in TicketNew.

Alibaba and its affiliates together are majority stakeholders in Paytm’s parent company, Delhi-based One97 Communications Ltd.

TicketNew integrates single-screen theatres, film distributors, production houses and events with users.

Paytm started online ticket-booking services in March 2016 to diversify its offerings.

Last year, Paytm acquired a majority stake in Insider.in, a ticketing and events discovery platform.

BookMyShow is the leader in the space.

TechCircle reported earlier this year how online movie ticketing platform BookMyShow’s revenue growth had slowed while peer TicketNew’s sales fell after cash-rich Paytm entered the segment.

TicketNew posted an 8.7% drop in standalone net sales for 2016-17 to Rs 14.6 crore from Rs 16 crore the year before, regulatory filings show. The company swung to a net loss of Rs 3.2 crore from a net profit of Rs 16.7 lakh.

Paytm’s movie-ticketing revenue for 2016-17 is not known, chiefly because the firm does not reveal segment-wise sales.

In February, Paytm said it had sold over 52 million movie and event tickets in 2017, up six-fold from 2016.

Consultancy firm RedSeer said in a recent report that Paytm became one-fourth the size of BookMyShow by March 2017 and that it expects this share to go up to about 30% in 2018.

Paytm also has a presence in the travel ticketing segment. Last week, it said that it had sold over 38 million bus, flight and rail tickets in the financial year 2017-18, up three times from the year before.

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