Alibaba Pictures, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group focusing on movies and television, has raised $260 Million Series A for its online ticketing arm, Taobao Movie. The investment round was led by Ant Financial Services Group (An Alibaba Subsidiary), CDH Investments and Sina.com along with participation from Huace Media, BONA Film and Hehe pictures. Post investment, Alibaba Pictures is not valued at $2.1 Billion.
The raised funding will be used to sustain the operations along with pumping money in marketing to strengthen the position in highly competitive market across the country.
Taobao Movie, the online ticketing platform was launched by Alibaba in 2014. It was acquired by Alibaba Pictures in 2015. According to a press statement, the online ticketing platform covers over 95% theaters in China.
According to a research last year, the movie tickets were purchased more from the online mediums compared to the offline ones and that happened for the first time in the history of Internet. The online companies are hopeful of a positive trend in the coming years and they are betting big on securing a good market share in the country.
Taobao Movie faces competition from Meituan and Dianping (Accounts for almost half of total movie tickets sold online in China), Nuomi (backed by Baidu), WePiao (Tencent backed) and Gewala.