Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce player, is reportedly in talks with ticketing platform BookMyShow to buy its stakes as it faces competition from Alibaba backed Paytm. According to media reports, Flipkart wants to invest fresh capital into BookMyShow, operated by Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, to build customer base and services.
BookMyShow may reportedly be valued at $500-700 million after its deal with Flipkart. Last year, BookMyShow announced raising Rs 550 crore by US based Stripes Group, and saw participation from all existing investors – Network 18, Accel Partners, and SAIF Partners. BookMyShow is currently positioned as the largest online entertainment ticketing platform in the country. Flipkart plans to buy a large minority scale, as Reliance Industries-owned Network18 continues to remain the single largest stakeholder of the ticketing platform.
Flipkart last week said that it will invest USD 500 million in PhonePe to scale up operations of its payments arm. The commitment is in addition to the USD 75 million infused by Flipkart in PhonePe since the acquisition in 2015, Flipkart said in a statement. It added that this is one of the largest single investment commitments in the Indian fintech payments space and “is reflective of the opportunities” in the segment, PTI reported.
Earlier, Flipkart’s effort at the merger with rival Snapdeal fell through on disagreement over valuations, following which it raised funding from Japan’s Softbank. Flipkart, earlier in March, had raised $1.4 billion from EBay, Microsoft and Tencent in this round of funding.
Softbank Group had written-off $1 billion on the valuation of its stake in Snapdeal, indicating the reason why it was desperate to exit the investment and switch its holding in the struggling Indian e-commerce major with that in other robust firms such as Flipkart and Paytm.
Founded in Mumbai in 1999 and re-launched in 2007, BMS is now present in over 350 towns and cities across India. It raised funds in 2007, 2012 and 2014 from Network18, Accel and SAIF, respectively. It saw about 100 million transactions on its platform in 2015-16. Along with booking tickets, BookMyShow is also now focusing on the generation of user content through its review platform and creation of special marketing campaigns for new movies.