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Kept on its toes by Paytm, BookMyShow slips deeper into the red in FY18

Kept on its toes by Paytm, BookMyShow slips deeper into the red in FY18
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates online ticketing platform BookMyShow, has reported a 29% rise in its consolidated operating revenue in the financial year 2017-18 even as its losses and expenditure both went up during the period. 

The company garnered consolidated net sales of Rs 391 crore for the year ended March 2018, up from Rs 301 crore in the previous fiscal, according to filings made with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

While the revenue growth is marginally higher than the 27% increase it registered last year, it still a far cry from the 85% it clocked in 2015-16.

TechCircle had earlier this year examined how the entry of cash-rich Paytm into the ticketing segment could have slowed BookMyShow’s march.

Meanwhile, net loss widened from Rs 140 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 162 crore in 2017-18, as total expenditure rose to Rs 568 crore from Rs 443 crore in the corresponding period.

BookMyShow’s parent company had turned in net profits on at least two occasions in the past — Rs 20 lakh in 2015-16 and Rs 3.2 crore in 2012-13, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

The wider losses in 2017-18 can be partially attributed to a 63% rise in employee benefit expenses, which amounted to Rs 129 crore.

The company’s expenditure on sports and concerts also increased in 2017-18, even as it spent Rs 17 crore on its foray into live events.

BookMyShow had produced and released a musical — Disney’s Aladdin — during the period under review.  

“BookMyShow continues to make strategic and long term investments in new and existing businesses and expanding geographies, many of which are already yielding results as evident from our strong growth in revenues,” a BookMyShow spokesperson told TechCircle via email. 

Intensifying competition

Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd was founded in 1999 by Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande. BookMyShow was launched in 2007 and is present across more than 650 towns and cities in India. The company offers tickets for movies, plays, sports and live events on its website and mobile app.

It is among the best-funded entertainment companies in India, have raised more than $200 million in funding.

In July this year, BookMyShow had raised $100 million (around Rs 680 crore then) in its Series D round led by private equity firm TPG Growth.

Some of BookMyShow’s other investors include Stripes Group, Accel Partners, SAIF Partners and Network 18.

Competition has intensified ever since Paytm Wallet, operated by Noida-headquartered Paytm Payments Bank Ltd, started online ticket-booking services in March 2016 to diversify its offerings.

Paytm’s movie-ticketing revenue is not known, chiefly because the firm does not reveal segment-wise sales. 

Paytm said earlier this year it had sold over 52 million movie and event tickets in 2017, up six-fold from 2016. The same data for BookMyShow’s ticket sales are not available for the corresponding periods.

In May, Paytm announced the acquisition of Chennai-based Orbgen Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs online ticketing platform TicketNew. Both firms are backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Consultancy firm RedSeer said in a report this year that Paytm became one-fourth the size of BookMyShow by March 2017 and that it expects this share to go up to about 30% in 2018.

With an eye on Paytm, BookMyShow has been trying to diversify by going on to produce music concerts, theatricals and introduced audio entertainment service Jukebox.

Paytm has been diversifying too. In July 2017, Paytm decided to buy a majority stake in Insider.in, a Mumbai-based platform for curated events.

BookMyShow has also been strengthening its presence through acquisitions.

Over the past couple of years, BookMyShow has acquired video-on-demand platform Nfusion, restaurant-discovery platform Burrp, Pune-based DIY (Do-it-Yourself) event registration and ticketing platform Townscript, Hyderabad-based ticket-booking platform MastiTickets, and Chennai-based fan relationship management solutions provider Fantain Sports Pvt. Ltd.

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