Falling in line with previous reports, Alibaba Group’s entertainment arm, Alibaba Pictures, has today announced that it has bought a majority stake in Chennai-headquartered digital ticketing platform TicketNew. The transaction marks Alibaba’s first step into the burgeoning entertainment market of India, in partnership with the second largest online ticketing platform. The financial details of the transaction have been kept under wraps.
Over the past months, Alibaba Pictures had been scouting for a prospective acquisition target in the Indian market. It has already started its expansion process in China with the acquisition of Daman.cn earlier in March. It is now stepping foot into India with a majority stake in one of the leading ticketing platforms in the nation. This strategic partnership, where Alibaba has committed to investing ₹120 crore into the company over a period of time, will enable TicketNew to expand its operations and service portfolio.
For those unaware, TicketNew was founded by Ramkumar Nammalvar back in 2007 to address the market needs of the Southern populace of India. It is based out of Chennai and has since expanded its presence to about 300 cities across the country. Now, with Alibaba Pictures onboard as its strategic partner, TicketNew will benefit from their operational know-how and financial resources. This collaboration will strengthen their leadership and help sashay their market share in the said consumer market.
Commenting on the partnership, Ramkumar Nammalvar, founder and chief executive officer of TicketNew said:
While we have already established our footprint strongly in the southern market, the partnership with Alibaba Pictures will take our services to every big and small region in India. Thus, we will emerge as the number one player in India.
TicketNew’s Chief Technology Officer Sasiraman Venkatesan in an official statement said:
We are a strong and growing force in India and, with Alibaba Pictures behind us, we will develop and grow our business at a much faster rate with the benefit of its global network, resources, and technology.
As for Alibaba Pictures, the subsidiary of the largest e-commerce giant of China, it has steadily been expanding its roots beyond the home market. It has already established a presence in the United States with an office in Los Angeles and was looking to expand its footprint to the Asia-Pacific region. It is looking to India’s Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions, which are leading to an increase in ticket sales online — as they’re being acquainted with the same right now.
In hindsight, TicketNew now has an abundance of resources and is gearing up to aggressively expand its services in competition to the leading online ticketing platform — BookMyShow. It has recently bagged a humongous ₹550 crore investment from New York-based Stripes Group.
This fundraising round also witnessed participation from existing backers including Network 18, Accel Partners, and SAIF Partners; taking the platform valuation to over ₹3,000 crores. It was focused on strengthening its position in the current market scenario and has since helped the company lead investments into two complimentary ticketing services. It has acquired Hyderabad-based online ticketing platform MastiTickets in an all-cash deal, in addition to picking up a majority 75 percent stake in DIY ticketing platform — Townscript.
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