Buran invests in Russia’s nascent online ticketing market
Last week, Ponominalu.ru, a Moscow-based online provider of show tickets, announced the completion of its first round of financing, securing $1.5 million from Buran Venture Capital at an undisclosed valuation.
Ponominalu.ru is expected to use the investment capital to beef up its team, explore further regional opportunities, and offer the events ticket market in Russia its “technology know-how.”
Ponominalu.ru is a three-year-old start-up, referred to by Buran as a “pioneer in the development and promotion of e-tickets” in Russia. It retails both electronic and paper tickets for concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, and other entertainment projects in seven cities in European Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg, covering as many as 2,000 various events at a time, Buran said. Customers can obtain tickets they purchase online from the website at the company’s sales office or have them delivered via courier.
The start-up also claims it covers events abroad. For those, it can also arrange for travel and lodging.
In 2012, the retailer doubled its year-on-year ticket sales and posted a six-fold increase in website traffic.
Russia’s electronic ticketing market is in its very early stage, Alexander Veisov, a Buran investment analyst, conceded in an exchange with the Russian business daily Vedomosti. Some market operators do not want to invest in special equipment to enable e-ticketing, while others are simply unaware of the technology. Sector analysts reckon that even in Moscow, the most sophisticated market for performances and other live events in Russia, electronic tickets currently account for no more than 5% of total ticket sales.
However, Ponominalu.ru appears set to continue to raise awareness of the advantages of e-tickets in regional markets. According to Buran’s Managing Partner Alexander Konoplyasty, “Our fund will actively assist the company in building its business by drawing on our experience and connections in Russia and the CIS.”
Buran Venture Capital was established in Moscow in 2010 “to invest $50 million over the course of the next 4-5 years” in Russia, CIS, and Israel. The fund targets early-stage e-commerce, online media, mobile Internet, communitainment, and SaaS projects, investing anything between $300,000 and $3 million in each young company.
Among Buran’s limited partners is Mikhail Vinchel, one of Mail.Ru Group’s founders.
First published in East-West Digital News.