Home >companies >start-ups >BookMyShow seeks to raise $75 million

Mumbai: Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, which owns online entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow.com (BMS), is in advanced talks to raise around $75 million (around 500 crore) in its largest round of fund-raising yet, according to two people aware of the development.

The company is in talks with US-based growth equity fund Stripes Group which will lead the round, likely infusing up to $50 million, said one of the two people mentioned above, speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

“It (BMS) has been on the road to raise funds for the last three-four months. The talks are currently at an advanced stage. Stripes Group is looking to invest anywhere between $40 million and $50 million," he added.

All existing investors in the company, SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Network18 Media and Investments Ltd will also participate in the current round, this person said.

BookMyShow declined comment for the story. Stripes Group and existing investors did not respond to mails or messages seeking comments.

Stripes Group is a New York-based growth equity firm that makes investments in the range of $10-100 million in sectors such as internet, software, healthcare, IT and branded consumer products.

The venture capital firm is founded and led by Ken Fox and Dan Marriott, both technology entrepreneurs turned investors. Interestingly, Marriott was once on the board of Ticketmaster, an online retailer of tickets for events ranging from concerts to broadway shows to family events.

Some of Stripes Group’s investments include Craftsy, an online education and commerce platform for creative enthusiasts; MyWebGrocer, a provider of SaaS solutions and digital media services to grocery store chains; Seamless, a web-based platform for ordering meals and catering from local restaurants, which was acquired by Nasdaq-listed GrubHub Inc.

This will be the fourth round of fundraising for BookMyShow, founded by Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande. In 2007, Network18 invested in the company’s maiden round. Accel Partners invested $18 million in the company in 2012. In 2014, the company raised $25 million in a round led by SAIF Partners that also saw participation from existing investors Accel and Network 18.

While the core business for BookMyShow remains movie tickets, the company has, in recent years, been diversifying its focus to up its game on events. In March, it acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based fan relationship management solutions provider Fantain Sports Pvt. Ltd. In February 2015, it acquired Bengaluru-based media analytics start-up Eventifier. In 2013, it bought Chennai-based ticketing portal Ticket Green.

With a presence in over 350 towns and cities in India serving the entertainment demands of over 14 million customers, BookMyShow has grown to become one of the largest transacting e-commerce platforms in the country. The company has also started operations in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

BookMyShow is targeting to sell 150 million tickets this year, an increase of 50% over 2015, Mint reported on 27 January. In an interview in June 2015, co-founder Hemrajani said that the size of the total addressable ticketing market in India is 500 million.

According to Devendra Agrawal, founder and chief executive at start-up focused advisory firm Dexter Capital Advisors, BookMyShow is in a unique spot in the online ticketing industry.

“Although the online ticketing/events space is a large market, it is not large enough to support two-three large players like hyper-local or e-commerce. That’s why we have not seen any other sizeable player with deep pockets enter this space," he said.

BookMyShow competes with the likes of Kyazoonga and MeraEvents but is much larger.

While the ticketing space is more or less mature, events is an area that has a lot of scope, Agarwal said, adding that several start-ups are now focusing on discovery of events and experiences beyond mere listing or aggregation.

swaraj.d@livemint.com

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