Five-year-old online ticketing venture KyaZoonga started as a movies ticketing platform before expanding to sports and events. Then the site, run by ITKTS Interactive Technologies Pvt Ltd, went ahead and launched an online store for sports and events-related merchandise. The latest addition to the venture has been an i-ticketing platform for organisers who can sell tickets themselves via KyaZoonga. Founded by three MIT alumni, including the sister-brother duo Neetu & Akash Bhatia and Arpita Majumdar, the firm went on to scoop $5 million in venture funding from New York-based hedge fund King Street Capital. However, as the Indian internet economy took shape, KyaZoonga saw its key competitor BookMyShow scale up much faster.
Techcircle.in caught up with Neetu Bhatia, co-founder and CEO of KyaZoonga, to talk about competition, differentiators, revenue channels, latest traction numbers and expansion plans. Here are the edited excerpts.
How does your products bouquet stand as of now?
We are in the market of interactive ticketing. We offer full service, be it online channels or offline like retail sales and venue-specific box offices, and the recently launched i-ticket. The broad categories are sports and entertainment but within that, we cover almost everything â€“ movies, events (both live and recorded) and merchandise as well.
What prompted you to add an online store since it is a very different business?
As we started to build the ticketing platform, we realised there was significant scope in the merchandising segment for products related to whatever events and movies we were doing. That led us to open the online store that offers sports and entertainment goods. These are either event-specific products or even generic, non-event specific ones. We even added souvenirs and memorabilia. When I say generic, I mean branded products and currently we have about 40,000 SKUs in our store.
How are all three of your verticals doing?
I can't share a break-up of transactions but I can say that across ticket booking, i-ticketing and online store, we are doing around 750,000 transactions per month.
We see some consumer internet ventures including your key competitor BookMyShow going international. Does KyaZoonga have any such plan?
Well, with the World Cup ticketing, we were already operational in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. And at any given time, our model is very agile and scalable â€“ so we can transfer it to any geographical location. Our model allows us to start in any region we like. There will be international expansion very soon across all the models.
There are only two major players in the market where you operate. What is your differentiation?
We are the only one in the entire subcontinent who actually owns the entire technology backend. We don't use licensed technology infrastructure like our competition â€“ we have built our own technology. So the intellectual property is ours. And this majorly helps us at every step. Whether it is expansion into new products or geographies or even refund of money when an event is cancelled, our technology is very robust.
We understand that you raised capital way back from King Street Capital. Are you looking to raise funds soon?
We are backed by a large New York-based hedge fund with a significant size of venture investing. And we were their first foreign investment. However, I can't disclose the name of the fund. We raised our Series A back in 2007 and haven't gone back to the market so far. That's because we didn't need it till date. But as we expand to other geographies and otherwise also, if we need it, we will definitely go back to the market to raise more funds.
But a listing is not on the anvil in the near future. We want to focus on the product and consumers before we take it to public investors.
In terms of marketing, you have been overshadowed by BookMyShow. How do you plan to change it?
We are very actively engaged with our user base of more than 5 million. The other name in the market may come up slightly more often but we are much more connected with our users. Also, the other player is more focused on the movie business but a big movie database doesn't translate into actual transactions. People may go there to check out prices and all, but may not actually buy it.
What are the new product features you are looking at?
A slew of new features are coming up from KyaZoonga. There is the new website and also the new logo. Our new site will be much more social for our users. Our online store came up when our consumers requested for certain products. So in future also, we will listen to what our consumers want.
Is the business profitable?
The business has been profitable for a couple of fiscals now. It is time for building it further.
What kind of growth have you seen over the past 12 months?
We can't share our revenue numbers but to give you an idea of the growth we are witnessing, our CAGR has been at 60-70 per cent over the past 12 months for the overall business.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)