Alibaba Buys Indian Ticketing Company TicketNew

The deal marks Alibaba’s first major acquisition in the ticketing space outside of China.

Alibaba Group’s entertainment arm Alibaba Pictures Group has acquired a majority stake in Indian online ticketing platform TicketNew for an undisclosed amount, marking a further push into entertainment by the firm.

The deal marks Alibaba’s first major acquisition in the ticketing space outside of China. Chennai-based TicketNew provides online movie ticketing services for over 300 cities across India, making it the second biggest operator there after rival BookMyShow.

“Alibaba plans to invest to the tune of Rs 120 crore over a period of time,” TicketNew founder and CEO Ramkumar Nammalvar said in a statement. “We are delighted to work with Alibaba Pictures. This secures the future of our staff and the company for generations to come.”

Rs 120 crore is equivalent to around RMB 126.8 million or $18.6 million. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.

The company also said that Alibaba Pictures’ operational know-how and financial resources will help them increase its market share in the online ticketing segment.

“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.” said TicketNew CTO Sasiraman Venkatesan.

Alibaba already owns stakes in  Indian companies One97 Communications Ltd, which runs mobile wallet Paytm, and e-commerce company Snapdeal.

In 2015, Alibaba Pictures Group paid around RMB 830 million ($134 million) to buy Yueke Software, one of China’s top cinema ticketing systems suppliers.