Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., which owns and operates online ticketing platform BookMyShow, has raised $100 million (around Rs 680 crore) in a Series D round of funding led by private equity firm TPG Growth.
In a statement, BookMyShow said that the fresh capital will fuel the Mumbai-based firm’s expansion plans in the entertainment sector, where cash-rich rival Paytm is steadily gaining ground.
“They (TPG) bring with them extensive experience across the global media and entertainment sector, which will be instrumental as we look to accelerate our growth plans in this space,” said Ashish Hemrajani, founder and chief executive officer of BookMyShow.
The firm said that existing investors had also participated in the round, but did not name them. Some of BookMyShow’s existing backers include Stripes Group, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and Network 18.
The fresh infusion comes months after media reports suggested that the ticketing platform was in talks with TPG Growth to raise $50-60 million in exchange for a 10% stake, in a deal that would value BookMyShow at $750 million.
However, BookMyShow made no mention of a stake sale or valuation in its announcement on Wednesday.
BookMyShow’s last external funding took place in July 2016, The Rs 550-crore ($81.5 million) infusion was led by New York-based investment firm Stripes Group and also saw participation from existing investors Network 18, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.
It has thus far raised more than $200 million in funding.
Mumbai-based investment bank Avendus Capital served as the financial adviser to BookMyShow on the latest transaction.
Paytm catching up
BookMyShow’s parent Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd was founded in 1999 by Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande. Bigtree Entertainment initially assisted theatres with inventory management and transitioning to ticket-booking capabilities online.
BookMyShow was launched in 2007 and is present across more than 650 towns and cities in India. The company offers tickets for movies, plays, sports and live events on its website and mobile app.
As part of efforts to diversify, BookMyShow has also gone on to produce music concert, theatricals and introduced audio entertainment service Jukebox.
Besides India, BookMyShow also has a presence Sri Lanka and Indonesia. It has also been strengthening its presence through acquisitions in a space where Alibaba-backed Paytm is making ambitious bets.
In May, Paytm 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.
Over the past couple of years, BookMyShow has acquired video-on-demand platform Nfusion, restaurant-discovery platform Burrp, Pune-based DIY (Do-it-Yourself) event registration and ticketing platform Townscript, Hyderabad-based ticket-booking platform MastiTickets, and Chennai-based fan relationship management solutions provider Fantain Sports Pvt. Ltd.
However, as part of its expansion plans, BookMyShow has also scaled down its other lesser profitable operations of late . In January, it announced that it would shut down its wallet service.
While BookMyShow is the leader in the movie ticketing space, TechCircle reported earlier this year that its revenue growth had slowed while peer TicketNew’s sales fell after Paytm entered the segment.
Consultancy firm RedSeer said in a recent report that Paytm became one-fourth the size of BookMyShow by March 2017 and that it expected this share to go up to about 30% in 2018.
BookMyShow’s consolidated net sales rose to Rs 300.6 crore ($46.2 million) in the financial year 2016-17 from Rs 236 crore ($36.2 million) in 2015-16, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies.
The company’s losses stood at Rs 139 crore ($21.4 million) in 2016-17 versus a mere Rs 1 crore ($153,600) in 2015-16.
While BookMyShow’s online ticket booking arm clocked a 30% growth in terms of value from Rs 176.7 crore ($27.1 million) in 2015-16 to Rs 230 crore ($35.3 million) in 2016-17, the growth rate was nearly half of that registered in the year-ago period.
TPG Growth is the mid-market and growth equity investment platform of US-headquartered investment giant TPG. It manages assets worth around $13.2 billion.
Last month, TPG Growth’s The Rise Fund, a global social-impact entity, invested Rs 475 crore ($70 million) in Fourth Partner Energy, a renewable power services company that focuses on building and financing solar rooftop projects.
TPG Growth has been actively investing in India. Among its local bets include budget sports shoe brand Campus, mother-and child-care hospitals chain Motherhood and oncology services provider Cancer Treatment Services International.
In September 2017, it made an investment in Mumbai-based school management services provider, Leadership Boulevard Pvt. Ltd. Elevar Advisors co-invested in Leadership Boulevard.