Alibaba Group acquires majority stake in Chennai-based TicketNew

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Alibaba Group’s flagship entertainment arm, Alibaba Pictures Group Limited, has acquired a majority stake in India’s second-largest online ticketing platform, TicketNew. 

Marking Alibaba Pictures’ first big acquisition in the burgeoning online ticketing industry outside of China, this strategic partnership will strengthen TicketNew’s operations and service portfolio.

Founded in 2007 by Ramkumar Nammalvar, TicketNew is a Chennai-based ticketing website that has a presence in over 300-plus cities in India. 

In the past few years, Alibaba Pictures has expanded its business beyond its home market. It has an office in Los Angeles, USA, and has been looking to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. In India, online movie ticketing is becoming increasingly popular with increasing penetrations in Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions. 

The strategic partnership between Alibaba Pictures and TicketNew can be mutually beneficial. Given Alibaba Pictures’ operational know-how and financial resources, the partnership can potentially help strengthen the leadership and market share of TicketNew in the e-commerce ticketing space and enable the company to capitalise on the burgeoning consumer market in India.

Nammalvar, founder and chief executive officer of TicketNew, who will continue to spearhead the firm's business, said: "Alibaba plans to invest to the tune of Rs 120 crore over a period of time. We are delighted to work with Alibaba Pictures. This secures the future of our staff and the company for generations to come." 

"Online ticketing is increasingly becoming popular in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions of India as well," he added.  

For this season's blockbuster, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, TicketNew witnessed over 50 per cent of its ticket sales from Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets. Overall, the movie netted TicketNew its best ticket sales ever. 

"While we have already established our footprint strongly in the southern market, the partnership with Alibaba Pictures will take our services to every big and small region in India. Thus, we will emerge as the number one player in India,” said Nammalvar.

TicketNew Chief Technology Officer Sasiraman Venkatesan said, "We are a strong and growing force in India and, with Alibaba Pictures behind us, we will develop and grow our business at a much faster rate with the benefit of its global network, resources, and technology."

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