Web18 picks up majority stake in BigTree

MUMBAI: TV18 Group’s Internet arm – Web18 – has acquired a majority stake in Bigtree Entertainment, which is a player in movie and entertainment ticketing.


This investment will further strengthen the Group’s position in the Internet and mobile transactions space. Some of the cinema chains using Bigtree’s Vista software in India are Fun Republic, Fame Adlabs, INOX Leisure, M2K Entertainment, Priya Village Roadshow and Sathyam Cineplex (Chennai) amongst others. Today 28 per cent of organised ticket sales in India come from multiplexes, most of which use BigTree Entertainment’s software technology. Bigtree currently handles over 2.5 million ticketing transactions annually for all major exhibition chains/centres across the country.


Bigtree Entertainment was founded in 1999 during the nascent stages of the multiplex and live entertainment boom. Over the past eight years, Bigtree has established a strong brand presence in the Indian market by offering its entertainment ticketing services across 35 cities in India.


Bigtree provides ticketing applications to cinemas and entertainment venues through a complete suite of software products ranging from box office ticketing, concessions management, web ticketing, mobile ticketing, loyalty management software, film programming, bar code ticketing, voucher management, etc.


This acquisition strengthens Web18’s position in the e-transactions space, both on the PC as well as mobile phones. The company had acquired a significant stake in Yatra.com and Jobstreet.com India a few months ago.


TV18 Group CEO Haresh Chawla said, “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to strengthen our position in the consumer Internet space. The Internet and mobile markets are key to the Group’s future and growth.”


Web18 CEO Surya Mantha added, “Web18’s vision is to be the leader in the consumer Internet space. With the rapid increase in the number of multiplexes nationwide, digital screens and a host of other entertainment options including live shows, we believe that a Web18-Bigtree partnership is best positioned to build a brand that will become the destination for entertainment ticketing for cinema, live entertainment, sporting and shows.”


Bigtree founder-CEO Ashish Hemrajani said, “In Web18, I am confident we have found the perfect partner who believes in the business and understands what it takes to build a successful and sustainable organization in India. With a sharp team backing TV18’s media and online businesses, we at Bigtree believe we can draw tremendously from those strengths and have some fun along the way in building India’s largest entertainment ticketing company. We will put in the necessary infrastructure, quality of service and marketing to ensure that consumers can reach us over voice, data and location options, be it a mobile phone, computer, landline phone or a convenient location.”

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