Categories: StartupStory

Indian Sartup Success Story: BookMyShow



You no longer have to stand in long queue to get yourself ticket to your favorite shows or movie. There are lots of websites which are willing to do that for you. Bookmyshow is one of them. Started in 1999, as a software re-seller for movie theater Bookmyshow pivoted its model as cloud-based events, movies, sports and plays booking platform. It is India’s largest entertainment ticketing website. It operates in 4 countries with more than 16 Mn customers.  Within a decade of its inception, BookMyShow has over 70% market share in the online entertainment ticketing space. It is headquartered in Mumbai and registered under brand BigTree Entertainment Ltd.  

The company claims to have 30 Mn+ app downloads, 10 Mn+ tickets a month and 3 Bn+ page views a month.

BookMyShow- Market

India has really exciting market of movie ticket booking. All of us has grown up on the movie. Overall event ticketing market is about 1000 crore per year in terms of ticket sales. The non-movies market is about 1500 crore which is covers events and sports. That’s the space Bookmyshow operate operates in.

BookMyShow –  Founders

BookMyShow was founded by Ashish Hemrajani, an alumni of Sydenham Institute of Management, Mumbai University. Ashish Hemrajani was born in July 1975. After his MBA he worked with J. Walter Thompson, an advertising firm.

BookMyShow – The Idea

The alcohol did it for Him! 😀 After his masters Ashish was working for an advertising agency. He was on a backpacking holidays in South Africa. During the trip, he was sitting under a tree listening to radio selling rugby tickets (Newton reincarnated). He got this big idea of Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. That’s when the idea hit him and then he knew where the gap lies. It was like buddha got an enlightenment.  After he was back to Capetown,  he decided to quit his job and start his company.

BookMyShow – Early days

It was of course not easy to start in 1999 as it is now.  When Ashish told his parents about the idea the first reaction of his parents was “Are you crazy, you are going into black markets of tickets selling! This is what have educated you for? ” However he was able  to convince his parents to pursue the idea. At the age of 24, he launched his first ever internet venture with its head office being his bedroom. Soon after his friend Parikshit Dar joined him heading towards Technology and another co-founder Rajesh Balpande took over finance sector in Bookmyshow. They were called three musketeers.

Bookmyshow brought movies together in masses and slowly moved on to event ticketing. Currently, Bookmyshow is the complete solution for the every updates about the movies releases, show timings, theater availability, movie details and movie ticketing.

Now it was not an easy task to sell tickets online during that time because of obvious reasons such as no credit card, debit card and net banking penetration, poor broadband connectivity and lack of e-ticketing software in theaters and single screens

Many-a-times, they faced losses due to non-scalable business model. But change in the laws gave them a little ease. The business then was majorly offline or at their 12 call-centers in 12 cities, they were doing a good business and accounted for 150 employees.The Dot Com industry was booming as well.

In 2002, the Dot Com market got busted and everyone in the industry, big or small faced the heat. It was even worse for the ones who were new and one of them was our BigTree Entertainment their business went down to an all time low.

BookMyShow – Business Model

BookMyShow has exclusive access to APIs that Vista ERP for movie theaters and multiplexes has and they have integrated those with the backend of the App that gives you real-time availability of the movie tickets.  Event tickets are numbered so no rocket science in that.

BookMyShow can open up these APIs to other players that can provide allied services to these groups.  Parking, F&B, Shopping Retail Stores, Security for upselling and cross-selling.

BookMyShow – Revenue model

Book my show has many sources of revenue:

Ticketing revenue:

This is the top most sources of revenue which contribute around 60% of the total revenue. This comes from internet handling fees and omission on ticket booking. The company charges a convenience fee over and above the price of the tickets. That is what bookmyshow keep. As far as nonmovie event are concerned, BMS gets commission as a part of tickets.

Non ticketing revenue: Advertising and promotion 

Any company which wants to promote their art work of films and short films can approach BMS to give them an “interest creation” boost with the online audience.  BMS can take advantage of their huge page views to promote these new artists and their offerings.

Once a ticket has been paid for, it is deemed sold. Now, It can neither be replaced nor canceled.

BookMyShow- Funding

The business thrived with no investors from 2002 to 2006. After the Dot Com Tsunami was gone, the market completely changed in India with better Internet, credit cards & debit cards facilities and infrastructure was also improvised, etc. Also, the number of multiplexes across India also grew largely.

In march 2007, Network 18 invested in Bookmyshow. In the year 2012 Accel Partners invests USD 18 Million Dollars i.e. Rs. 100 crores. In June 2014 SAIF Partners invests USD 25 Million i.e. Rs. 150 crore valuing BookMyShow at a valuation of Rs. 1000 crores.

Till now, the company has raised a total of $124.5 Mn in 3 rounds from 4 investors. The recent funding was let in July 2016 of 550 crores.

BookMyShow- Growth

BookMyShow has and early bird advantage over other competitors. With time it has managed to partner with the top most multiplex chains, theaters and even ace event management companies like Percept that organizes Sunburn Festival.

Although the model can be replicated easily they are now far ahead of any of its competitors which make it very difficult for new player to enter in the market. 

In the year 2010,  Bookmyshow has become official partner for IPL. In march, they came up with exclusive ticket partnership with Formula 1.  Events like this have brought a lot of traffic, which was to stay long after the events as well. In October 2014 Bookmyshow was the largest selling ticketing platform was more than 5 million tickets, BMS awarded ‘The Hottest Company of the Year-2011-12’. Up to today Bookmyshow has booked tickets 25Mn  worth 700 crores.

In the sixteen years of his journey, the company has seen and faced every bitter truth of life. From INR 25,000 as capital to INR 1,000 crore in valuation, from Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd to BookMyShow.com, from Dot Com crash and to Global Financial Crisis.

BookMyShow- Acquisition:

March 2013: It acquires Chennai based online ticketing company Ticket Green.

Feb 2015: It acquires Bangalore-based Social Media Analytics firm Eventifier

Mar 2016: It acquires a majority stake in Chennai-based Fantain Sports Pvt. Ltd.

BookMyShow- Competitors:

In India, the company directly competes with Ticketnew. Ticketnew is mostly focused on South Indian market. Some of the smaller players are Insider.in and Nearify.

BookMyShow-Future Plans

The company wants to add a merchandising section on the website for fans can buy tees, hoodies and others. The company is going to focus on mobile as it seems 25% of total booking is done through apps with 20% using wallets as payment option.

Advice for upcoming entrepreneurs from founders of BookMyShow:

It is all about going out and trying. But don’t follow the herd. You have got to be very clear why you idea or you as a person will succeed in this environment. How disruptive your technology is.

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