One of the country’s largest payment player, Paytm on Wednesday announced that it had acquired Orbgen Technologies Private Limited, the entity that operates Chennai-based online ticketing platform TicketNew.
The news comes exactly a year after Paytm’s marquee investor Alibaba invested in the online ticketing platform through its entertainment arm, Alibaba Pictures. The investment was considered to be in the tune of Rs 120 crore.
Founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, TicketNew is a Chennai-based ticketing website which claimed to have presence in over 300 cities in India by July last year. It also claimed to have a network of more than 3,000 screens across urban and rural areas.
Noida-headquartered Paytm entered the events ticketing business in March 2016.
In July last year, Paytm had acquired a majority stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in Since this acquisition Paytm claims to have successfully ticketed over 8,000 events with over a million tickets sold.
In a recent interview with YourStory, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO of parent company One97 Communications, said,
In the entertainment category, we are reaching the size of the market leader. So, at an industry level, I feel that these platforms will grow further. These were byproduct businesses but are now becoming huge.
According to an official statement, Paytm said that its entertainment business has increased its online penetration in India by more than 50 percent. The platform at present provides event tickets across categories of music, sports, comedy and other lifestyle categories.
Speaking on the acquisition, Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer, and SVP, Paytm said,
We are on a mission to be the one-stop destination for all movie and entertainment ticketing needs. TicketNew founders have built a fantastic business in South India and share the same partnership mindset as Paytm. Under their leadership, Paytm is seeking to connect TicketNew partner cinemas to Paytm’s more than 300 million customers and further invest in helping grow their occupancy and revenues.
TicketNew’s strong regional presence in South India clearly attracted Paytm to make an offer. In February this year, the company had said that almost 35 percent of its overall sales came from regional movies and content.
Around that time, Paytm had also claimed to sell over 52 million movie and event tickets in 2017, citing almost a 500 percent growth from 2016.It also said it was providing online ticketing for 4,000 movie screens, of which 1,600 screens were from regional chains.
To bolster its growth Paytm had launched its Movie Pass subscription, an affordable option for moviegoers who watch films every weekend. It also introduced 100-percent refund on cancellations and movie passes.
A RedSeer report suggests that the online ticketing industry saw a 40 percent to 45 percent growth in the non-movie category. The report said,
The online ticketing industry saw a decrease in the share of movie tickets in Q3’17 as movies on-demand started to increase. To counteract this drop in movies, the industry shifted its focus to ancillary categories which are showing exceptional growth in sports and local events. Increased contribution of local events also opens doors for the increased penetration of the industry in Tier-II cities.
BookMyShow, Paytm’s archrival in the movie and entertainment ticketing space, forayed into different verticals, with music being the latest, taking it deeper into the entertainment segment, after its funding from Stripes Group.
While being the new entrant, there is still some work that Paytm needs to do.
A recent report by Kalagato suggests that BookMyShow commands 78 percent of the market share in its segment and the company had a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 0.52 and average order value of Rs 446.90 between January and March 2017. Paytm, however, had a higher order value of Rs 468.40.