BookMyShow - The Indian Startup which Sustained Dot com Bubble

Book My Show Highlights

Startup Name Book My Show
Headquarter Mumbai
Founder Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar & Rajesh Balpande
Sector Online Ticket Booking
Founded 1999
Registered Entity Name Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd

Book My Show - Introduction
Book My Show - Industry Details
Book My Show - Founder
Book My Show - The Idea and Starting Up
Book My Show - Name and Logo
Book My Show - Services
Book My Show - Business Model
Book My Show - Revenue Model
Book My Show - Funding
Book My Show - Challenges
Book My Show - Competitors
Book My Show - Partners
Book My Show - Achievements
Book My Show - Awards
Book My Show - Acquisitions
Book My Show - Future Plans
Book My Show - Founder's Advice

Book My Show - Introduction

The new generation of kids will never have the experience of standing in long queues to buy a movie ticket or the disappointment of walking all the way to the theater just to find that the theater is houseful. All thanks to the online ticket booking platforms, such scenarios are a matter of past now. And while booking tickets online the first name that comes to almost all of our minds is of ‘Book My Show’. The company has made booking tickets easier than never before. However, the journey of the company from its inception until now has not been easy.

Currently, Book My Show is India’s largest entertainment ticketing website. Book My Show pivoted its model as cloud-based events, movies, sports and plays booking platform. It operates in 5 countries with more than 30 million customers.  In the sixteen years of his journey, the company has seen and faced many ups and downs. From INR 25,000 as capital to INR 391 crore revenue in FY2018, from Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd to Book My Show.com, from Dot Com crash to Global Financial Crisis. However, Book My Show has managed all and emerged winners.

Book My Show - Industry Details

According to a RedSeer report, The online ticketing market in India has recorded quarterly revenue of $28 million.  

According to RedSeer's Online Ticket Market Updates, 50 percent of the industry revenue has been coming from movies, their next big contribution is events. Sports events, concerts and other live entertainment tickets contributed significantly to the almost $330-million revenue the online ticketing industry generated in 2017.  

With more top players acquiring the smaller ones, a CAGR of 20 percent is expected in the online ticketing industry by 2020.  

Within a decade of its inception Book My Show has contributed 40% CAGR in revenues and around 90% market share in the online ticket booking industry.  

Relevant Read: Success Story of Make My Trip

Book My Show - Founder

Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande are the founders of Book My Show.

Ashish, Parikshit and Rajesh are alumnus of Sydenham Institute of Management, Mumbai University. Prior to founding Book My Show then known as Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd,  Asish worked at J. Walter Thompson, an advertising firm.

Book My Show - The Idea and Starting Up

The alcohol did it for Him! After his masters, Ashish was working for an advertising agency. He was on a backpacking holiday 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 enlightenment. After he was back to Capetown, he decided to quit his job and start his company.

However, starting was not easy. When Ashish told his parents about his business idea, they were not happy with it. They were uncertain about his idea and wanted him to continue his job instead. But finally, Ashish was able to convince his parents. At the age of 24, he launched his first ever internet venture with it's 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 Book My Show. The three friends and now also co-founders who like to be called three musketeers together started Big Tree Entertainment Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Book My Show.

Formerly Book My Show was known by the name ‘Go For Ticketing’. In 2002, the company was re-branded as ‘India Ticketing’ and finally the name ‘Book My Show’ was given to the company.

In 2007, Book My Show, then known as India Ticketing organized a contest among its employees to suggest a suitable name for the company and the winner was to get an iPod touch. The name Book My Show was suggested by an engineering intern of the company. And thus the company found the name that clicked for the company and now has become a well known and established brand name.

Book My Show logo

Book My Show - Services

Book My Show initially brought movies together in masses and slowly moved on to event ticketing. Now, book my show makes available tickets of everything from movies to events like plays, fairs, sports, etc. You can also book tickets for monuments and international events on Book My Show. The company has also introduced tickets for activities, where one can check if any activities are happening in any location and procure tickets of the same.

Book My Show - 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.

Book My Show - Revenue Model

Book My Show's source of revenue are-

Ticketing revenue:

This is the topmost sources of revenue which contribute around 60% of the total revenue. This comes from internet handling fees and commission on ticket booking. The company charges a convenience fee over and above the price of the tickets. That is what Book My Show keeps. As far as the non-movie event is concerned, Book My Show gets a commission as a part of tickets.

Non-ticketing revenue

Advertising and promotion Any company which wants to promote their artwork of films and short films can approach Book My Show to give them an “interest creation” boost with the online audience. Book My Show 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.

Book My Show - 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 the better Internet, credit cards & debit cards facilities and infrastructure was improvised. Also, the number of multiplexes across India also grew larger. Owing to this favorable scenario and Book My Shows's promising business plan, investors were willing to invest in Book My Show.  

Book My Show has raised a total  funding of $224.5 in 5 rounds. Their latest funding was raised in July 2018 from series D round.

Date Stage Amount Investor
March 2007 Seed undisclosed Network 18
August 2012 Series A $18M Accel
June 2014 Series B $25M Saif Partners
July 2016 Series C $81.5M Accel, Saif partners, Stripes Group, Network18
July 2018 Series D $100M TPG Growth

Book My Show - Challenges

The journey was not easy for Book My Show. From starting up, to facing technical challenges for making ticketing convenient, to the dot com bubble the company has faced a lot. First of all, when BigTree Entertainment Pvt Ltd was formed in 1999, selling tickets online was not an easy task. The main hurdles in online ticket selling were- unavailability of credit card, debit card and net banking facilities. Poor broadband connectivity Lack of e-ticketing software in theater and single screens

There was a time when what Book My Show did was buying tickets in bulks and sent 100s of people on bike to deliver the tickets to the customers. However, this business model was not scalable and the company had to face losses.

In the early days, Book My Show was running majorly offline. It had 12 call centers in 12 cities,  150 employees and the company was doing good despite all challenges. Chase, Book My Show’s capital partner sold off their stake to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Then in 2002, Book My Show faced the biggest crisis- the dot com market crash. The business was running at an all-time low. All the investors retracted, and Book My Show had to buy back their business from News Corp.

To deal with the crisis, Book My Show had to reduce employee strength. The number of employees shrunk from 150 to 6. Also, it shut down all the offices and continued operating in just Mumbai and Delhi. However, Ashish, parikshit and Rajesh were all determined to sail through the crisis. Soon,the dot com tsunami was over and the Indian market saw many favorable changes. Internet facilities became must better. Credit and debit cards also became popular. The number of multiplexes also increased.Book My Show wanted to get back on its feet as early as possible. So they started as software solution providers, providing automated ticketing software to multiplexes. They also started running call centers for their clients. The company gradually started making a profit and the Book My Show’s worth in 2007 was 24.1 crore.

A pessimist says the glass is half empty, an optimist says it is half full. An entrepreneur looks at the empty section and adds some scotch either to enjoy the journey or be too drunk to bother.- Ashish Hemrajani, BookMyShow s

Book My Show - Competitors

Some competitors of Book My Show are  Explara, TicketGenie, Kyazoonga, IndianStage, BookMyEvent, MeraEvents, Asklaila, TicketCountes, etc. However, BookMyShow has an early bird advantage over other competitors.

Book My Show - Partners

With time Book My Show has managed to partner with the topmost 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 the market.  

In September 2018, Inox Leisure, India's second largest multiplex chain stopped offering its ticket for sale in Book My Show platform owing to a dispute between the two parties. While Inox demanded more money from Book My Show for the rights to sell its tickets, the later refused to pay more. However, the dispute did not last long and in October 2018, Book My Show and Inox tied up again.

Book My Show - Achievements

Book My Show is now the market leader in online ticket booking industry. Some major achievements of the company are –

  • 50 million+ app downloads
  • 15 million+ ticket sold in a month
  • 2 billion+ page views each year.
  • 30 million+ customers.
  • Operating in 5 countries
  • Covers 650+ towns and cities.
  • Covers 5000+ screens
  • Attracted funding from big names like Stripes Group, Network 18, Accel partners and Saif partners.
  • Became official ticketing partner for Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Pune Warriors and Rajasthan Royals in IPL
  • Became exclusive ticketing partner for Formula 1 race in India.  

Book My Show - Awards

  • 'The Hottest Company of the Year-2011-12' and 'The Company to watch out for' at the prestigious CNBC Young Turks Award.
  • ‘Best Omni-channel Customer Experience Brand’ at the OneDirect Quest Customer Experience (QuestCX) Awards.  

Book My Show - Acquisitions

  • March 2013:  Book My Show acquired Chennai based online ticketing company Ticket Green.
  • Feb 2015:  acquired Bangalore-based Social Media Analytics firm Eventifier.
  • Mar 2016: acquired a majority stake in Chennai-based Fantain Sports Pvt. Ltd. In
  • January 2015: acquired Mastiticket, a Hyderabad based ticketing firm.  
  • February 2017: acquired a majority stake in Pune based DIY events ticketing and registration platform Townscript.
  • July 2017: acquired India’s oldest food tech business Burrp!  
  • August 2017: acquired Nfusion for its audio entertainment offering – Jukebox!  

Book My Show - 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 a payment option.

Book My Show - Founder's Advice

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

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