Online ticket booking platforms are going beyond selling tickets. They are participating in every link of the entertainment industry. Beijing Weiying Technology, the parent company of an online ticket booking platform WePiao, which is embedded in WeChat, announced on Wednesday that it has completed a Series C+ round of financing, after which its valuation was boosted to USD 2 billion.
The combined total of this round of financing and the company’s Series C round last year is around RMB 4.5 billion (USD 693 million). Zeus Entertainment led this round of financing followed by returning investor, Tencent group, and CMC holdings. Before the Series C round, China’s largest commercial property company Wanda Group also invested in the company.
In this round, Tencent injected RMB 336 million to strengthen cooperation with Weiying Technology for shows and sporting events.
Weiying Technology, founded in 2014, is a marketing and ticket booking company. Its online ticket booking service covers movies, shows and sporting events, and the company is also involved in film promotion and production. It currently uses three channels to sell tickets, which are Tencent’s two social networks WeChat and QQ, and also its own WePiao app. It also merged with the parent company of another online ticket selling platform, Gewara, last December.
According to a post by Tencent’s incubator program, Tencent Open Platform, a program that Weiying is a part of, the company has cooperated with more than 5,000 cinemas in over 500 cities and more than 1,200 theatres, arenas and exhibition halls. And the maximun number of tickets issued by Weiying on a single day was upwards of 3,500,000.
Like its rival Maoyan, the ticketing arm of Meituan, Weiying now has a stake in almost every possible link in the movie industry, including IP content creation, film production, distribution and marketing, even sales of film merchandise. Its branch Weiying Capital has reserved funds totalling RMB 6 billion, and it has made investments in around 40 companies in three main sectors.
In addition, the company has shown ambition in getting into sporting events by launching an independent company, Weisai Shidai last November. Weisai Shidai completed Series A financing this month. The company is selling tickets to sporting events and intends to grow into a social networking platform centered on sports.
(Top photo from www.cr173.com)