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Indian B2B company Instamojo acqui-hires virtual theater startup Showman

Written by Avanish Tiwary Published on     2 mins read

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Showman allowed users to buy tickets of newly released movies and watch them on their own device from home.

Bengaluru-based software-as-a-service startup Instamojo said Thursday it has acqui-hired digital entertainment startup Showman for an undisclosed amount of money.

Showman will cease to function post the acquisition, and the founding members of the two-year-old startup, Kshitij Bhatawdekar and Rutveez Roopam Rout, will join Instamojo as product manager and user research manager, respectively.

Early last year, Instamojo acquired GetMeAShop (GMAS), an e-commerce enablement firm backed by Times Internet, and raised an undisclosed amount in its Pre-Series C round of funding.

Started in October 2019, Showman allowed users to buy tickets of newly released movies and watch them on their own device from home without having to go to a cinema theater.

According to a report by FICCI Frames, India only has 8,530 cinema theaters, in comparison, China and the US each has over 40,000 movie screens.

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“Our research showed that many people in India don’t have access to movie theaters, a situation that worsened further after the lockdown last year,” Kshitij Bhatawdekar, co-founder, Showman, told KrASIA. He said the company’s vision was to bring movies to its users’ home who don’t have access to cinema screens in their city or village.

Bengaluru-headquartered Showman buys theatrical rights of new movies and claimed to have negotiated movie contracts worth USD 30 million across Indian film industries. Bhatawdekar said the COVID-19 emergency helped the company make a better pitch to movie producers as they were not able to sell their movies to distributors.

“The acquihire of Showman is a first for Instamojo and comes at a time when we as a company are evolving to move to the next level. We are happy to have both Kshitij and Rutveez join our team, bringing to Instamojo their expertise and knowledge in the product and consumer space, along with their entrepreneurial spirit,” Akash Gehani, co-founder and COO, Instamojo, said in a statement.

Nine-year-old Instamojo helps businesses collect and automate recurring online payments, digitize brick-and-mortar shops, offer micro loans, and manage the credit books of medium and small offline businesses.

Both the founders of Showman will help Instamojo come up with new products as it gets aggressive in digitizing offline stores in lower tier cities of India.

“As an entertainment-focused platform, we have deep insights about Indian users in tier 2 and 3 cities, including villages. We would help Instamojo in digitizing MSEs (medium and small enterprises) and roll out new solutions and offerings that can add value to Instamojo and its users,” Bhatawdekar said.

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