Update: Yerramsetti mailed in to inform us that there are two cinema companies in Qatar that own 3 multiplexes with 9 screens in total between them. These companies are adding more than 50 screens to cater to the growing expat population by end of next year and Q-Tickets has signed exclusive long-term deals with both of them. The company will go live with the QCC in a month and will launch advance booking by then, along with the mobile app which is under development. It charges a ‘convinience fee’ of QAR 5 (Rs 85) on a ticket price of QAR 35. These screens have an overall ticket volume of 5 million as of last year and the company expects to book over a million tickets via q-tickets in its first year.
Earlier: SMSCountry founder and CEO Satya Kalyan Yerramsetti, has launched Qatar’s first movie booking website Q-Tickets.com in partnership with Doha Bank, which will take care of the payment gateway side of the website.
The company claims that it is the first movie booking website in GCC that can handle booking for more than on chain of theatres. That said, it has only two multiplexes listed and only lets you book tickets for the day, but, strangely enough, not in advance. Apart from movies, the website also handles ticket bookings for events, though there is only one listing under this category as of now.
Yerramsetti is still heading SMSCountry, which currently offers services such as voice SMS, cloud telephony, apart from bulk and group SMS services. The company had sold its free personal SMS service 160by2 to Way2SMS in 2012. Way2SMS was then acquired by ValueFirst, in May 2012, but that deal was then reversed in the same year. Former Valuefirst CEO Kumar Apoorv has now joined Way2SMS and 160by2 as its Group CEO. Apoorv had quit Valuefirst in September 2012 after a four year stint with the company, during which he had made several acquisitions including Way2SMS & 160by2.
As of January 2012, Way2SMS and 160by2 were together adding a combined 25,000 registrations a day, and claimed 95% marketshare of the P2P online SMS business, with around 33 million registered users. However, there has been no updates on how the company has been performing since then.
(via Press release)