IndianStage, a Bengaluru-based online event ticketing platform which focuses on the performing arts segment, has been acquired by another Bengaluru-based event ticketing platform Explara for an equity plus cash deal.
In 2008, Magesh Kumar Gurumurthy co-founded IndianStage with Baskar Ethirajan and Sajesh Nair. The platform has ticketed for over 12000 event and served well over 500,000 patrons enabling them to attend live performances in 21 cities across India and abroad.
Both the startups share an investor. Blume Ventures has invested in IndianStage and Explara. YourStory learned that the Founders of IndianStage.in, Baskar Ethirajan and Sajesh Nair, will join the Explara management team. The sales & biz development team of IndianStage across various cities will continue to drive the business under Explara.
Joining hands for growth
Sajesh Nair, Co-founder of IndianStage.in, said, “We knew that growth would happen by going wider on verticals offered, hence a merger made sense from a business perspective. We looked at Explara and other ticketing players but Explara was a natural choice because of the cultural fit, technical brilliance, multi-vertical presence and entrepreneurial approach to running the business. We have a distinct set of customers; hence joining hands means fast forwarding growth.”
Explara started as Ayojak and evolved its ticketing & registration solution helping event organizers to do events successfully. Over the years, the platform transitioned to becoming a full fledged solution provider for ticketing & event management offering end to end solutions to manage an event.
The synergy of Explara & IndiaStage
YourStory had an email conversation with Santosh Panda, Founder of Explara, about the acquisition. Regarding the synergy between Explara & IndianStage, he said, “Explara has been growing in these segments a) biz & tech b) learning & classes c) entertainment & shows d) sports & outdoor. Entertainment is Explara's third largest vertical while IndianStage has been the market leader in small & medium scale entertainment and shows. Having IndianStage on board, Explara gets access to this segment's customers, and also consumer data.”
He is positive about achieving break-even this quarter. Without revealing actual numbers he said, “With the acquisition, Explara is still a lean team of 18 people, our gross sales & net revenue have also increased. We will be hitting break-even this quarter.”
There is a lot of buzz in the event listing space. And Explara claims to cover a huge section of small & medium events in India. The company also claims to have the largest inventory which they list on Explara. Santosh adds, “With our discovery solution, we believe effective personalized recommendation makes sense vs. simple event listing. We also see new ideas are being water tested in this space. This industry is about to explode for the better.”
Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner of Blume Ventures, commented, "When we first invested in Explara and Indianstage independently around the 2012 and 2013 timeframes, we were upbeat about the teams and their passion for their products and the customer needs. We continue to be believers that the events, ticketing and entertainment space is hugely underrepresented beyond the Indian market leader today, which is focused on movies and large format events. The large gap in every other category plus smaller format events prompted Explara to add Indianstage to its own team so that these two teams can scale even more rapidly. As investors in both companies, we are delighted to see them come together - we think they will build a multi-100cr GMV business quickly from this point."
What is ahead for Explara
“With a strong growth & network of suppliers (event oragnisers), and recent launch of discovery solution, Explara now aims to offer personalized discovery of events/activities in your city & buy tickets,” adds Santosh.