Movie pass service potentially on its way to South Africa

12 January 2018


Sinemia, an online-movie ticketing business started by a Turkish developer, is in talks with US-based venture-capital investors to fund an expansion in the world’s largest cinema market.

The company is seeking to attract $50 million by mid-2019, Rifat Oguz, who founded Sinemia in 2015, said in an interview in Istanbul.

It has already sold 30% to investors including Mountain View, California-based 500 Startups Management, Aslanoba Capital and Revo Capital Management, the former Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri AS engineer said.

“We are hoping to sign deals in 2019,” Oguz said, declining to give details on current valuations, revenue or the identities of potential investors. “We want to grow in the US.”

Sinemia aims to take on rivals such as MoviePass, an online-movie ticketing business, which lets film fans attend a theater once a day for less than $10 a month, below the cost of a ticket in some US cities, with a view to negotiating some concessions or making money by selling ads.

The company, formally known as Brandia Bilisim Teknolojileri AS, has offices in Turkey, US and UK.

New Markets – including South Africa

Sinemia is aiming to have more than 2 million users globally with revenue of $400 million in three years, including $330 million from the US market, he said, adding that the company’s US user base is projected to reach 1.3 million in three years. Sinemia has 350,000 users on its mobile application, Oguz said.

The company, which offers subscriptions at 19 liras ($5.10) a month, plans to enter Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and is considering Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and India as potential markets, he said.

The number of transactions in Turkey involving startups rose 65% in 2017 to 112 deals, according to a report released on Monday by Deloitte.

Venture capital, angel and private-equity investors spent $94 million in the first nine months of 2017 on Turkish startups, Ihsan Elgin, co-founder of Istanbul-based Startups Watch, which monitors the market in Turkey, said in October last year.

He projected the companies will likely receive $100 million in investments in 2017, the highest in seven years.

Source: Bloomberg