Beijing Weiying Technology Co. Ltd and Shanghai Gewa Information Consultancy Co.Ltd have announced they will merge, retaining their brands and teams, operating independently and sharing resources, reports Sohu News Portal on Thursday.
Weiying Technology, backed by investors Tencent and real estate giant Wanda Group, is an entertainment firm established in April 2015, selling movie, show and sport tickets online. Utilizing the different Tencent platforms, Weiying owns three movie ticket sales entries besides its own app, including “movie tickets” under WeChat Wallet and “tickets”under QQ Wallet, and claims to cover over 4500 movie theatres.
The latest valuation for Weiying Technology puts it at RMB 10 billion (USD 1.5 billion) after raising RMB 1.5 billion (USD 231 million) in its C-series fundraising.
Gewara.com, founded in 2008, is a more established player in the business of online ticket selling, and claims it has 40 million active ticket buyers and issues around 400,000 movie tickets daily.
In November it was rumored Gewara was in the process of being acquired. The present independent operation of the two firms is more of a transitional step, and there will likely be further integration in the future, following the precedent established by the big Chinese merger cases of Didi Kuaidi, 58 Ganji and Meituan Dianping.
“After the merger, Weiying will be combined with another ticket platform, Gewara”, said Lin Ning, CEO of Weiying Technology.
Liu Yong, CEO of Gewara said that the two companies will expand the market further to the culture and entertainment industries using their combined pool of users.
After the merger, the biggest rival for the new company will be MaoYan Movie owned by Meituan, followed by other competitors Baidu Nuomi, Dianping, and Taobao Movie by Alibaba.