Paytm, the Indian ticketing and payments giant, has acquired TicketNew from Chinese conglomerate Alibaba in a deal thought to be worth up to $40m.

Paytm expects to strengthen its position in the entertainment ticketing vertical through the purchase, which was reported to be worth between $30-40m when it was mooted last month. The terms and financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

“It is our goal to be the leader in every city in India and offer the opportunity to all cinema partners to reach Paytm’s customers,” said Madhur Deora, Paytm’s chief financial officer, according to VCCircle.

“TicketNew founders have built a fantastic business in South India and share the same partnership mindset as Paytm.”

Alibaba Pictures bought a majority stake in TicketNew in June 2017, marking its first acquisition outside China in the internet ticketing industry.

The move highlights Paytm’s drive to expand its ticketing arm to compete with market leader BookMyShow.

Paytm last year sold over 52 million movie tickets, notching more than 500 per cent growth in volume of tickets sold since its launch in May 2016, the company said.

Last month, Paytm became the exclusive ticketing partner for several cricket teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Paytm acquired a majority stake in Insider.in, an online ticketing and events platform backed by event management company Only Much Louder (OML), for a little over Rs35crore in 2017.

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