Flipkart in talks to pick up a stake in BookMyShow

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MUMBAI: Flipkart is in talks for a strategic partnership with ticketing platform BookMyShow in a move that will build out its services and transaction offering against Paytm.

The talks, which are at a preliminary stage may see the Tiger Global backed e-commerce player pick up a significant minority stake in Book My Show, said two people aware of the discussions.

A partnership with market leader BookMyShow will give Flipkart, which is also building out its payments platform Phonepe, a play in the ticketing market and a more frequent use case for its service to customers.
Flipkart’s partnership with BookMyShow, to introduce an entertainment offering, is the latest amongst the top 3 ecommerce players moves to build out integrated service verticals beyond their bread and butter ecommerce marketplace. Through Local Finds, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Now, the Seattle-headquarted giant has been steadily building its hyperlocal and services offerings.

Paytm too has been building its armour in a similar direction through its recent buy of deals and discovery platforms Little and Nearbuy as also its talks with travel platform Via.com, ET had reported last month.

India’s e-commerce giants moving to build their service vertical follows a model that China’s Alibaba has set in motion. The Chinese ecommerce giant along with its payments arm Ant Financial (Alipay) has invested in Chinese online to offline platform for services Meituan-Dianping.

On its part, BookMyShow has been steadily building its original content offering on both its video and recently launched audio entertainment vertical JukeBox. BookMyShow is focussing on local language content for both its video and audio platforms to penetrate better in tier 2 and 3 towns, a move that will prove to be vastly beneficial for Flipkart given its attempts to serve deeper in the smaller towns.

The company had raised Rs 550 crore last year led by Stripes Group in a deal which valued it at over Rs 3,000 crore. Its other investors include Reliance owned Network18, and venture capital firms SAIF Partners and Accel India.

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