With market leader Flipkart reportedly in talks to invest in online ticketing platform BookMyShow, the e-commerce battle in India seems to be going to the next level. According to a report in Livemint, Flipkart, which raised more than $1.4 billion this year, was keen on a total buyout but BookMyShow’s largest stakeholder Network18 was not into the deal.
The Flipkart Group already has horizontal marketplace Flipkart, fashion portals Myntra and Jabong, logistics arm Ekart, and digital payments arm PhonePe.
In a similar initiative last year, horizontal marketplace Snapdeal had partnered with Zomato, Cleartrip, UrbanClap, and redBus, but was unable to make an impact on their revenue.
BookMyShow, founded in 1999, is the undisputed leader in its category. It sells tickets not only for movies but events, plays, and concerts too. Having raised Rs 550 crore a year ago, BookMyShow is a profitable company that counts Accel Partners among its investors — as does Flipkart.
However, digital wallet-cum-marketplace Paytm also serves the same customer base in ticketing and offers cashback offers, which pose obvious threats to BookMyShow.
What is more, China-based e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, which is all set to enter India, has also made an investment in the sector. In June, Alibaba Group’s entertainment arm Alibaba Pictures acquired a majority stake in India’s second-largest online ticketing platform, TicketNew. (The Chennai-based ticketing website has a presence in over 300 cities in India with a network of more than 3,000 screens across urban and rural areas.) In China too, the e-commerce tycoon had acquired online ticketing service leader Damai.
Lately, Flipkart has been busy building its private label as well as categories like furniture and grocery. In its race for profitability, Flipkart is going all out in partnerships with manufacturers in India and abroad. Its largest rival Amazon India has also been wooing customers with Amazon Prime and Prime Video services. Now, Flipkart is also sure to face competition from Paytm and Paytm Mall, backed by Alibaba.