Bengaluru : Big Tree Entertainment, which owns Bookmyshow, is acquiring Bengaluru-based startup Eventifier as the Mumbai-based company looks to expand across the entertainment value chain. The deal involves Bookmyshow acquiring majority stake in Eventifier for over $2 million in cash with the investors exiting.
The move underlines the increasing appetite among well-funded internet companies to make tuck-in acquisitions as they expand to new markets.
Co-founded by Mohammed Saud, Nazim Zeeshan and Jazeel Badur Ferry in 2012, Eventifier stitches archives of social media content from conferences and events across the globe. Initially mentored by Chennai’s The Startup Centre, it also raised venture capital funding from Accel Partners and Kae Capital. The company has over 1,500 clients like Pearson, UBM Tech, Clinton Foundation and NASA.
“Eventifier solves a larger problem of social media, which is fragmented today but is extremely critical to any business need. Companies need to connect the dots on how consumers sitting on various social media platforms are relevant to them,” said Ashish Hemrajani, co-founder & CEO of Bookmyshow.
Eventifier is expected to retain the brand and will operate as a separate entity. The startup will chart its next stage of growth by developing an end-to-end social media platform, tapping into the data in the movie-ticketing space that Bookmyshow sits on. The platform will factor analytics, marketing and sentimentality to help brands increase their outreach.
“This is a strategic way for us to get bigger,” said Eventifier CEO Ferry. “Bookmyshow is moving forward in the social media space. That’s where we will come in and help them.”
Hemrajani said the company is open to more such acquisitions though no other deal is in the pipeline right now. The deal is the second acquisition for Bookmyshow after its buyout of Chennai-based online ticketing portal Ticket Green in March 2013. Bookmyshow raised a Rs 150-crore funding round in June 2014, which valued the company at over Rs 1,000 crore. Its investors include SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Network18 Media, which is now owned by Reliance Industries.
More such deals could be in the pipeline going ahead. While large players like Flipkart and Snapdeal have been making acquisitions over the last couple of years, now even a new set of players like Newshunt, Cardekho and FreeCharge are said to be eyeing acquisitions.
Industry observers indicate that all digital companies, which have managed to raise over $30-40 million funding in the last six months, are eyeing small acquisition or acqui-hires (where companies are bought for their team), actively backed by their investors.
“Now even more players are keen on acquisitions as the industry is turning increasingly competitive,” said Sasha Mirchandani, founder of Kae Capital. “These deals help companies acquire talent and get to market faster. You will see more of this in the coming months and years.”
Newshunt, a local language mobile news aggregation service, acqui-hired analytics and big data processing startup Vauntz two months back. Going ahead, the company, which has raised over $40 million in funding since September 2014, is looking to acquire, invest or getting into partnership with more startups around the local language ecosystem.
“We see ourselves as a local language players’ platform and anybody developing an interesting content category like test preparation or solving problems digitisation or great utility apps are of interest to us,” said founder & CEO Virendra Gupta.