Online payments platform Paytm has acquired Orbgen Technologies Private Limited, the firm that operates Chennai-based online ticketing platform TicketNew. The move, as seen by industry experts, is a strategy to strengthen Paytm’s presence in ticketing space, which is mostly dominated by platforms like BookMyShow, Townscript, Explara, MeraEvents etc.

Paytm acquires TicketNew

As reported by Moneycontrol, the size of the deal was around $40 million. Paytm, which entered the online ticketing space in March 2016, claims to have sold over 52 million tickets in the last one year through its platform. Even after the acquisition, the TicketNew brand will be operational under the same brand.

Paytm in its blog, stated that they have recently increased their online penetration by more than 50% and became the country’s fastest growing entertainment ticketing platform. They have also built a strong business in South India and are working exclusively with iconic single screen theatres & regional multiplex chains including Suresh Productions, V Celluloid, SVC and Anusri Cinemas among others. Paytm has also partnered with SPI Cinemas, which owns landmark properties such as Sathyam Cinemas, Le Rêve, The Cinema, in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

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. It is our goal to be the leader in every city in India and offer the opportunity to all cinema partners to reach Paytm’s customers. 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. With this acquisition, we have taken a step closer to our goal of making Paytm Entertainment the No 1 player in this space.”

Alibaba Pictures, the entertainment arm of Alibaba Group, had acquired a majority stake in TicketNew for an undisclosed amount in June 2017. Incidentally, Alibaba and its affiliate Ant Financial are key stakeholders in Paytm as well.

Last year, Paytm acquired majority stake in Insider.in, ticketing platform for events. These two acquisitions shows the importance of ticketing for Paytm and their focus to increase their presence in ticketing space.

As per Moneycontrol reports, Paytm currently sells tickets for events, music, sports, comedy and other lifestyle categories and competes directly with market leader BookMyShow. While BookMyShow is currently the ticketing partner for around 4,500 screens in the country, Paytm is not far behind with 4,000 screens. Last year, Paytm sold over 52 million movie tickets, clocking over 500% growth in volume of tickets sold since its launch in May 2016, the company said.

Founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, TicketNew is largely present in South India. Alibaba Pictures, the entertainment arm of Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group, had acquired a majority stake in TicketNew in June 2017, marking its first acquisition outside China in the internet ticketing industry.

Image Source: Paytm blog