Bookme.pk — an e-ticketing platform for cinemas and bus services — has raised seed stage funding from Element Ventures at $4 million valuation. Company didn’t reveal the exact value of investment but said that the money it raised is well north of six figures.
With this development, Bookme.pk also announced the appointment of Mr. Faisal Sherjan as its director, who had been associated with Jang Group at various senior level positions for over 12 years.
Bookme.pk offers e-ticketing solutions for all major cinemas in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and for nine different bus companies in Islamabad and Lahore.
Faizan Aslam, founder of Bookme.pk, has said that this new investment will help them expand their operations to other major cities of Pakistan.
Banking on Partnerships
Bookme.pk currently processes over 200 orders per day, but it believes that service expansion in new cities plus the business deals it has signed with the likes of Microsoft, Geo, Hum, ARY, will help the company grow its customers during days to come.
As per Bookme’s arrangement with Microsoft, bookme app will come pre-installed on all Microsoft phones coming to Pakistan from June 2015. This is the first time that Microsoft has agreed to pre-install a local app in their phones in Pakistan.
Transforming into a Platform
Starting as a simple ticketing app, bookme.pk has successfully transformed into a platform with-in one year of its inception. It has managed to partner with all major media groups of Pakistan to offer them back-end technology for their Cinema tickets apps.
For example Geo and ARY films apps — that are available for download — use bookme.pk’s APIs at the back-end. Any ticketing transaction done with Geo or ARY films’ app is ultimately managed and processed by bookme.pk.
Since media groups advertises their films heavily along with actively promoting their apps, Faizan considers such media groups or other API partners very lucrative as they add up to bookme.pk’s sales without any marketing cost.
Faizan sees all cinemas in Pakistan as a target market, where they can offer back-end ticketing solution to all sorts of cinemas.
Building Affiliate Partners
Thirdly, and most importantly, Bookme.pk is currently working on establishment of an online affiliate channels with which digital publishers will be able to sell cinema and bus tickets on their website through bookme.pk widgets.
Bookme.pk widget that can be embedded on any website
While talking with me, Faizan confirmed that bookme.pk widget is going to be available for all sorts of websites. He said that website owners will be given a commission or margin for each order they will generate, and hence more revenues for publishers while more customers for bookme.pk in parallel.