Accel Partners invests INR 100 crores in Bigtree. Here is why [Analysis]

Early and growth stage venture fund Accel Partners has picked up a stake in Network 18 owned online movie and event ticketing company Bigtree Entertainment which runs Bookmyshow.com for a total of $ 18 mn (Rs 100 cr). Network 18,  which owns 60 % of Bigtree has offloaded a minority stake worth Rs 66 cr to Accel Partners which also picked up an additional stake in the company through a primary issue taking its total investment to Rs 100 cr, according  to reports. bigtree_services

With nearly 300 people, Bigtree not only provides ticketing services to the consumer, but also offers a ticketing solution called Vista  (licensed from Vista.co.nz) that allows theater and multiplex owners to sell tickets at the box office as well as remotely through mobile phones and over the internet. The company’s ticketing solution, as claimed is used in nearly 85 % of India’s multiplexes.

The Mumbai headquartered company founded in 1999 with funds from Chase Capital Partners JP Morgan, is planning to use the money to expand into tier II and tier III markets to grow the business beyond movie ticketing. Network 18 invested in Bigtree in 2007.

Why BigTree needs INR 34 Crores?

First of all, Bigtree hasn’t raised INR 100 crores – they got INR 34 crores in the deal and the rest was exchanged between Accel and Network 18.

As far as Bigtree business is concerned, here are some thoughts to ponder upon:

– Bookmyshow reported overall transactions of 2 million in July 2012 and is generating about 10% of these through its mobile platform. Launched in August 2006, Bookmyshow has also been offering online booking for sports events such as IPL, Champions League, during IPL-5, Bookmyshow, the official online ticketing partner for IPL reportedly sold close to 50,000 tickets.

– The company has licensed the ERP software from New Zealand based, Vista – essentially, BigTree is a distributor of the software (link). Actually, Bookmyshow is a front-end to licensed software including Vista (from New Zealand), Rentrak’s International Box Office Essentials (North America based box office data collection and analysis agency).

– The multiplex market is now being fragmented by other players like Fame cinemas, Cinemax and PVR and BigTree, it seems is playing a small part in the food chain of ‘entertainment industry’, as some of these multiplex players have built their own ticketing and ERP platform.

In short, Bigtree needs to expand into businesses beyond movies and get into events. This is surely a big news for event/ticketing industry, which has mostly been untouched by the technology investment community.

What are your thoughts?

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