Taslima Khan (Assistant Editor)
Large online ticketing companies have been grabbing all the attention due to heavy funding by venture capitalists.
One of the leaders in this space, which owns more than 80 per cent of the online entertainment ticketing market in India, is BookMyShow.
The company was co-founded by Ashish Hemrajani, Rajesh Balpande and Parikshit Dar in 2007 and is backed by prominent venture capital investors-SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Network18 Media-which is owned by Reliance Industries. In the last round of fund raising in June 2014, it entered the Rs 1,000-crore valuation club among other Indian startups like Ola Cabs and Zomato.
One of the earliest companies in this space, BookMyShow focused majorly on movie-ticketing and sports events.
Right now the company owns about 85 per cent of the online entertainment-ticketing market in India. Besides movies, which make for more than 70 per cent of BookMyShow's revenues, the company also tickets, sports, live events and plays. There are other companies as well that focus on sports and movies, like the Delhi-based Kyazoonga.
Now, the online events space in India is maturing with startups filling the various gaps in the market.
Explara which is backed by Rajan Anandan and Blume Ventures among others, Omics Group-backed MeraEvents, and BookMyEvents among other smaller companies who cover areas untouched by earlier genre of companies.
MeraEvents, for instance, covers events under the categories of professional, entertainment, campus, spiritual etc.
The range of events covered by Explara includes those like trekking, fairs, fund-raising events and exhibitions, etc.
These segments are largely unorganised but there is a huge need to bring the ticketing process online.
In fact, the unorganised and fragment nature of the market is similar to the offline bus-ticketing market which has been successfully brought online by those like RedBus.
These startups are growing.
One way to assess this, is that when Business Today interviewed Explara CEO Santosh Panda in August 2013, it was working with close to 5,000 events per year with about 2,800 event organisers.
As per the latest information shared by the startup, it now deals with more than 10, 000 suppliers.
If the numbers are to be believed, IndianStage, the company acquired by Explara, claims to handle ticketing for 12,000 events across 21 cities, reaching out to about 5 lakh consumers. And they are covering global events too. As per Explara's website, the company covers 21 countries including Singapore, Philippines and countries in the Middle East.
Larger companies are likely to tap into the growth of untouched segments by acquiring such startups.
In February this year, market leader BookMyShow acquired Bangalore-based Eventifier for about $2 million.
A year ago in March 2013, it had acquired Chennai-based online ticketing company TicketGreen.
The company could be in for further acquisitions to boost its portfolio of events or bolster its back-end technology. Ashish Hemrajani, co-founder and CEO of BookMyShow is reportedly out to acquire more such companies. Who will be next in the radar?