BookMyShow: Saving You The Hassle Of Booking Entertainment Tickets

Are you a movie buff? If it's a no, then sorry to burst your lie! Come on, there are endless reasons for watching a movie: for unwinding, relaxing, and what not. The genre differentiates the audience; some love action, others root for rom-com, teens want drama, and all that jazz. Choices are never ending. But someone is there to unite movie goers.

And that is, a platform that offers a plethora of options when it comes to booking tickets. Movies, parties, events, and what not—BookMyShow has it all covered. Booking tickets has become as easy as ABC courtesy of this venture. But turning into a huge success wasn't an overnight journey for BookMyShow.

Read on to know how the company rose from a nascent startup to becoming the most sought-after one in the online entertainment ticket booking segment.

BookMyShow in a nutshell

Startup Name BookMyShow
Headquarters Mumbai
Founder Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar, and Rajesh Balpande
Sector Online Ticket Booking
Founded 1999
Parent Organization Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd

BookMyShow - About
BookMyShow - Industry Details
BookMyShow - Founders And CEO
BookMyShow - History And Conception
BookMyShow - Name And Logo
BookMyShow - Services
BookMyShow - Business Model
BookMyShow - Revenue Model
BookMyShow - Revenue And Turnover
BookMyShow - Funding And Investors
BookMyShow - Valuation And Net Worth
BookMyShow - Challenges
BookMyShow - Competitors
BookMyShow - Partners
BookMyShow - Achievements
BookMyShow - Awards
BookMyShow - Acquisitions
BookMyShow - Future Plans
BookMyShow - Founder's Advice

BookMyShow - About

Currently, the company is India’s largest entertainment ticketing platform. Book MyShow started out in 1999 as a software re-seller for movie theaters and converted into a platform catering to cloud-based events, movies, sports, and plays booking. BookMyShow was known by the name of its parent company, Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. during inception.

It operates in 5 countries with more than 30 million customers.  In sixteen years, BookMyShow has been through a roller-coaster ride, seeing all kinds of crests and troughs. From INR 25,000 as initial capital to INR 391 crore revenue in FY2018, from the Dot Com crash in the early 2000s to the global financial crisis of 2008, the company has a story on par with the David v/s Goliath legend. It managed to sail through tough times and emerged winner in the end.

BookMyShow - Industry Details

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

Moreover, RedSeer's Online Ticket Market Updates states that 50% of the industry revenue has been coming from movies, with the next big contributor being events. Sporting events, concerts and other live entertainment shows contributed were the significant money making aspects in the almost $330-million revenue generated by the online ticketing industry in 2017.  

With the big guns relentlessly acquiring smaller competitors in this domain, a CAGR of 20% is expected in the online ticketing industry by 2020.  

Within a decade of its inception, BookMyShow has contributed 40% CAGR in revenues. BookMyShow holds around 90% market share in the online ticket booking industry.  

Relevant Read: Success Story of Make My Trip

BookMyShow - Founders And CEO

Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar, and Rajesh Balpande are the founders of BookMyShow.

Ashish Hemrajani is the CEO of BookMyShow. Prior to launching BookMyShow (earlier known as Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd), Asish worked at J. Walter Thompson, an advertising firm.

The trio —Ashish, Parikshit, and Rajesh—are alumnus of Sydenham Institute of Management, Mumbai University.

Rajesh Balpande worked as an investment banker before joining his friend Ashish in the venture.

BookMyShow - History And Conception

The alcohol did it for him! After his master's, Ashish was working for J.W. Thompson, an advertising agency. He was on a backpacking trip in South Africa. On one such day, he was sitting under a tree listening to the promotion of rugby tickets on radio (Newton reincarnated?). An idea sparked; a solution to bring about a change. Ashish came back to India and resigned from his job immediately to focus on his idea. He thought of Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. to focus on the niche of ticket booking.

However, starting was far from easy. When Ashish told his parents about his business idea, they weren't happy. Uncertainty and concern hit them like any other parent mindful of their child's career. Ashish was somehow able to convince them. 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 to lead the technological aspects and another co-founder, Rajesh Balpande, took over the responsibility of managing Bigtree's finances. The trio, fondly known as the three musketeers, thus started Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., the parent company of BookMyShow.

BookMyShow was initially branded as ‘Go For Ticketing’. In 2002, the company was renamed ‘India Ticketing’ before ending up as what it's known today.

In 2007, BookMyShow, then known as India Ticketing, organized a contest for its employees where they were to suggest a name for the company with the winner receiving an iPod touch. The name BookMyShow was suggested by an engineering intern. And that's how the venture found a name that clicked with its mission and vision.

Book My Show logo
Book My Show logo

BookMyShow - Services

BookMyShow initially kept itself to movie tickets but soon had its fingers in various pies. Now, BookMyShow sells tickets for anything and everything that has to do with entertainment—from movies, to events like plays, fairs, sports, etc. You can also book tickets for monument exhibitions and international events on the platform. The company also introduced tickets for activities happening in one's vicinity.

One can avail the services of BookMyShow through its website or the BookMyShow app. The app was first launched in 2012. It's available for Windows, Android, iOS, and Blackberry.The company keeps updating and upgrading the app from time to time. BookMyShow also launched a Progressive Web App in 2017. The app allows users to check show timings, book tickets, read reviews, watch trailers, and more.

Book My Show also has 24/7 customer service.

BookMyShow - Business Model

BookMyShow has exclusive access to Vista ERP APIs that are used by movie theaters and multiplexes, integrating them with the backend of its app to show real-time availability of movie tickets. BookMyShow opens up these APIs to other players for providing allied services—parking, F&B, shopping destinations, retail stores, and security—for upselling and cross-selling.

BookMyShow - Revenue Model

BookMyShow makes money through the following sources:

Ticketing revenue

This is the major source of revenue, contributing around 60% of the total earnings. It includes internet handling fees and commissions on ticket booking. The company charges a convenience fee over and above the price of the tickets. This difference is what BookMyShow keeps. As far as non-movie events are concerned, BookMyShow gets a commission from the sale of such tickets.

Non-ticketing revenue

Any company that wants to promote their artwork, which includes but is not restricted to films and short films, can approach BookMyShow to gain an “interest creation” boost with their online audience. BookMyShow takes advantage of its massive page views to promote new artists and their offerings. Once a ticket has been paid for, it is deemed sold. It can then neither be replaced nor be canceled.

BookMyShow - Revenue And Turnover

Book My Show registered a 30% growth in operational revenue in FY 2018. As per reports, Book My Show earned a revenue of INR 391 Cr. in FY 2018 as compared to INR 300.9 Cr in FY 2017.

In the fiscal year ending March 2018, BookMyShow reported a loss of INR 162 Cr. Its losses in the previous year stood at INR 139 Cr.

Book My Show has been in the green (read making profits) over the last few years. The company reported loss of just Rs 1 Cr. in 2016. However, the company's losses have witnessed an uptick due to its investment in non-movie segments and due to the rise of new competitors.

BookMyShow - Funding And Investors

The business thrived in spite of no investor support from 2002 to 2006. After the Dot Com boom settled, the Indian market was revamped with better internet services, credit and debit card facilities, and infrastructure setup. The number of multiplexes across India also proliferated.  With a favorable scenario in the backdrop coupled with BookMyShows's promising business plan, investors were willing to put in their money in the company.  

BookMyShow has raised a total  funding of  over $224.5 million in 6 rounds. In the latest round of funding raised in January 2019, Singapore based Jungle Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in Bigtree Entertainment Singapore Pte Ltd. owned BookMyShow SEA(South East Asia). BookMyShow started operating in South East Asia in 2016, with its headquarters in Indonesia. With funding from Jungle Ventures, the company is now planning to shift its headquarters to Singapore. As confirmed by BookMyShow SEA's CEO Kenneth Tan, the funds raised will be utilized to enhance the technological operations of BookMyShow SEA, and to efficiently cater to the increasing number of users in South East Asian region.

Funding Date Stage Amount Book My Show Investors
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
January 2019 Venture undisclosed Jungle Ventures

BookMyShow - Valuation And Net Worth

Sources says that prior to raising $100M funding from 'TPG Growth' in July 2018, BookMyShow was valued at about $750 million. With the boost from TPG Growth, BookMyShow now hovers at around $850 million.

According to a recent report, BookMyShow is likely to sell 10-12% of its stake to Private equity major General Atlantic, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, and investment banking major Goldman Sachs (others are being considered as well). If the sale is successful, this deal is likely to push BookMyShow's valuation to around $1 billion, making it a unicorn venture.

However, there is no data backing the exact net worth of BookMyShow today.

BookMyShow - Challenges

The journey was an arduous one for BookMyShow. Be it the hassles of starting a new venture, the dot com bubble of 2002, or the 2007 financial crisis, BookMyShow has seen it all. When BigTree Entertainment Pvt Ltd was formed in 1999, selling tickets online wasn't mainstream like today. The internet was still an experimental playground with constantly changing dynamics. The major hurdles to selling tickets were the infrequent usage, if not unavailability,  of credit cards, debit card and net banking facilities. Poor broadband connectivity and lack of e-ticketing software in theaters only added to the woes.

There was a time when BookMyShow used to buying tickets in bulk and sent hundreds of people on bike to deliver the tickets to customers. However, the business model wasn't scalable and the company had to take it off.

In the early days, BookMyShow was mainly doing its business offline. It had 12 call centers in 12 cities with 150 employees and the company was doing good despite the hurdles. Chase, BookMyShow’s capital partner, sold off its stake to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Then in 2002, BookMyShow faced the dot com crash. The business was running at an all-time low. The investors retracted and BookMyShow had to buy back its business from News Corp.

To minimize effects from the crisis, BookMyShow cut down employees’ salaries and major expenses. It even shut down some offices and focused on only the major cities: Mumbai and Delhi. The skeleton crew was reduced from 150 members to a paltry 6. Ashish, Parikshit, and Rajesh did not give up even in the face of these adversities. The passing by of the dot com debacle brought some welcoming changes in the Indian market. Internet facilities improved, and credit/debit cards became popular. The number of multiplexes proliferated. BookMyShow wanted to gain back its erstwhile strong footing. It started selling software solution providers, providing automated ticketing software to multiplexes. The company also started running call centers for its clients. BookMyShow gradually generated profits and was worth 24.1 crore in 2007.

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, CEO, BookMyShow

BookMyShow - Competitors

BookMyShow's local competitors include Explara, TicketGenie, Kyazoonga, IndianStage, BookMyEvent, MeraEvents, Asklaila, TicketCountes, etc. However, BookMyShow has an early bird advantage over them.

Currently, BookMyShow is facing stiff competition from Paytm which offers discounts and cash backs to users on purchase of movie tickets through the Paytm platform.

Despite competition, a report by Kalagato says BookMyShow still holds a 78% market share in the online movie ticketing sector.

As BookMyShow owner Ashish Hemrajani puts it, "Our market share in movie-ticketing has not changed, it has actually gone up. We oscillate between 70% and 75%."

BookMyShow - Partners

With time, BookMyShow has managed to partner with the topmost multiplex chains, theaters, and ace event management companies like Percept (popular for organizing the Sunburn Festival). Although the company's operating model is no more a unique point, it's far ahead of its competitors and firmly established, making it difficult for new players to entrench themselves.  

In September 2018, Inox Leisure, India's second largest multiplex chain stopped offering its tickets on the BookMyShow platform owing to a dispute between the two parties. While Inox demanded more money from BookMyShow for the rights to sell its tickets, the latter refused to heed into this demand. The dispute fortunately did not last long and in October 2018, the two parties were back at talking terms.

BookMyShow - 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.
  • BookMyShow earned a revenue of INR 391 crore in FY2018.

BookMyShow - 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.  

BookMyShow - Acquisitions

  • March 2013: BookMyShow 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.  
  • 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:  BookMyShow acquired Nfusion for its audio entertainment offering –  BookMyShow Jukebox!  

BookMyShow - Future Plans

The company wants to add a merchandising section on its website where fans can buy tees, hoodies, and other apparels. The company is going to focus on the mobile segment as nearly 25% of the total booking is done through BookMyShow mobile app. 20% of the app users resort to wallets as the payment option.

Relevant Read: LaYuva - A Platform that lets you Shop, Save and Earn

BookMyShow - 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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About Shubham Kumar

Founder @StartupTalky. IIT KGP grad. Learner. Dedicated to the service of the startup Ecosystem. Love meeting people. Let's connect -
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