After moving beyond e-wallet to becoming a payment bank and then expanding to Paytm Mall, Paytm is now reportedly looking to make an acquisition in the online movie ticketing space. The target company is Chennai- based TicketNew from Alibaba Pictures, according to a report in Economic Times. The addition of this company into the Paytm would see it taking on the market leader for a long time, BookMyShow..
Paytm already has a foot in the door in the online movie ticketing business through the acquisition of insider.in a year ago and this acquisition will make the competition more intense. The current equation stands at 52 million tickets being sold by Paytm in a year whereas BookMyShow does over 120 million at 10 million per month on an average.
The scales have been tilted in favour of BookMyShow in the metros, which also fetch higher prices per ticket compared to the Tier 2 cities and towns where Paytm has been more active so far. The business is also about roping in a larger number of cinema screens. Being a Chennai-based outfit, TicketNew has a better hold over theatres running regional movies in the South which also form a major chunk of the overall online movie tickets sold.
Interestingly, TicketNew is owned by Alibaba Pictures, the vehicle Alibaba uses for investments in the entertainment business and it had acquired the company only last year gaining majority control. And, as is known, Alibaba is one of the key investors in Paytm as well.
ET reports that because of this, the price that Paytm will pay to buy TicketNew may remain the same at which Alibaba Pictures bought TicketNew. The exact amount has not been disclosed; however, the estimation is that it would be anywhere between $30 and $40 million. For the record, the holding of Alibaba Group in Paytm is to the extent of 40%.
The formal takeover may be completed by May 2018 according to ET, but there has been no official confirmation or denial from Paytm over the development.