Alibaba Pictures acquires majority stake in Chennai-based TicketNew


The debacle of e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal does not seem to have deterred Chinese conglomerate Alibaba from its investment ambitions in India. After Snapdeal, Paytm and Ola, one more Internet company is set to join the list of Alibaba’s investees in India.

Alibaba Group’s entertainment arm Alibaba Pictures has acquired a majority stake in India’s second-largest online ticketing platform, TicketNew.

Founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, this Chennai-based ticketing website has presence in over 300 cities in India. The company has a network of more than 3,000 screens across across urban and rural areas.

Although Alibaba Group already has a major stake in Paytm, and a minor one in Snapdeal, this is the first big acquisition by Alibaba Pictures in the Internet ticketing industry outside China. Over the last year and a half, reports have surfaced that Alibaba is considering investing in XpressBees and Delhivery.

Alibaba plans to invest to the tune of Rs 120 crore over a period of time.

Ramkumar Nammalvar, Founder and CEO of TicketNew, who will continue to spearhead the business for TicketNew, said: “Online ticketing is increasingly becoming popular in tier-2 and tier-3 regions of India as well. The latest phenomenal movie, Baahubali-2,  accounted for over 50 percentage of our ticket sales in tier-2 and tier-3 cities."

He added that the partnership with Alibaba Pictures will help take TicketNew's service to every big and small region of India.

In the past few years, Alibaba Pictures has expanded its business beyond its home market. It has an office in Los Angeles and has been looking to expand its footprint in Asia-Pacific regions. Digital media platform UCWeb has also collaborated with Alibaba Mobile Business Group for UC News, which serves India and Indonesia.

In India, BookMyShow has been the undisputed leader in online ticket booking so far. Having raised Rs.550 crore a year ago, BookMyShow - backed by SAIF Partners and Accel Partners among others - sells tickets not only for movies but events, plays, and concerts too.