Rare are consumer Internet companies that have been around for two decades and still going strong. While over 95% of startups operating currently were founded post the 2008-09 era or even much later, online movie ticketing platform BookMyShow is alive and kicking since 1999.
BookMyShow began by delivering printed tickets on users’ doorsteps during the first decade of its operations. The Ashish Hemrajani-led firm hasn’t only managed to survive but also scaled itself to half a thousand crore revenue-making entity.
According to its annual regulatory filing, its operating revenue grew by 52% to Rs 594.2 crore in FY19 from Rs 391 crore in FY18. This surge in revenue is driven by an 8.4X jump in earning from live events. The vertical contributed Rs 105 crore in FY19 as compared to only Rs 12.5 crore in the previous fiscal.
Meanwhile, revenue from online ticket bookings and software, and turnkey ticketing solution selling also recorded 21.5% and 25.5% growth respectively. About Rs 331.6 crore has come from selling movie tickets while software services fetched Rs 58 crore during FY19.
Advertising and promotional services generated Rs 22.8 crore income whereas revenue from events and on-ground ticketing also grew 2.5X to Rs 76.6 crore in FY19 from Rs 30.2 crore in FY18.
On the expenses front, the biggest cost driver was the amount paid by BookMyShow to movie theatres to honour their revenue-sharing agreements. It made up nearly 24% of the total expenses incurred by the company.
Burn on the commission paid to theatres recorded 85.4% growth to Rs 172.7 crore in FY19 from Rs 93.13 crore in FY18.
The second biggest expenses were incurred on employee benefits, which grew only 11.3% from Rs 129.06 crore to Rs 143.7 crore in FY19. Payments in the form of artist fees (for live events) grew 2.1X to Rs 26.7 crore in FY19 from Rs 12.7 crore in FY18.
Further, IT expenses also grew 42% to Rs 21 crore in the last fiscal from Rs 14.8 crore in the preceding financial year. Expenditure on payment gateway and finance accounted for Rs 30.4 crore and Rs 5.7 crore respectively in the year ended in March 2019.
Notably, expenditure on advertising and promotion almost halved, reducing to Rs 75.4 crore in FY19 from Rs 157.5 crore in FY18.
Although the overall expenses of BookMyShow increased by nearly 30% to Rs 733.5 crore in FY19 from Rs 567.5 crore in FY18, the firm managed to control its losses which amounted to Rs 115.2 crore in FY19, almost 29% down from Rs 162.2 crore in FY18.
Similarly, the net cash outflows from operations were also reduced drastically. These outflows were reduced by nearly 60% to Rs 128.7 crore in FY19 from Rs 322.4 crore in FY18. Unit economics also improved by 15.2% as the company spent Rs 1.23 to generate a single rupee of operating revenues as compared to Rs 1.45 it spent for the same in FY18.
Notwithstanding the heightened competition from Paytm, the financial health of BookMyShow in FY19 has certainly improved. Paytm has been betting big on movies and live events ticketing since late 2016. It claimed to sell 100 million tickets in 2019 while BookMyShow projected to sell about 200 million tickets this year.
The unit economics for the TPG Growth-backed company is expected to improve further in the ongoing fiscal.
The company has pumped capital in its business while growing its scale efficiently. During FY19, it raised Rs 680 crore through issue of shares to fuel this growth. Courtesy this capital infusion the total assets of the company doubled, standing at Rs 1,265.2 crore at the end of FY19 while also paying back borrowing of Rs 50 crore during the same period.
The survival of BookMyShow has been a classic example of commitment, patience, perseverance and the unflinching belief of the founding team and other stakeholders in the company. Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar & Rajesh Balpande are true outliers and they inspire the entire ecosystem with their spirit of entrepreneurship.