PRESS: Mamut’s Rambler Group buys big online cinema Okko
MOSCOW, Mar 29 (PRIME) -- One of Russia’s biggest online cinemas Okko has joined Rambler Group of Alexander Mamut under a cashless deal as Okko’s owner, Era Capital, will get a minority stake in Rambler Group, which runs wide cinema chains Cinema Park and Formula Kino, business daily Kommersant reported on Thursday.
Rambler needs Okko to create “a cross-media ecosystem covering all screens: mobile, computer, cinema and Smart TV,” a Rambler spokesperson said. The combined group will become the biggest distributor of content in online and offline with a common loyalty program that will give more opportunities to advertising agencies and partners.
Mamut has been studying options to expand onto the online video market for a long time. Sources told the Kommersant earlier that the businessman looked at different video services, including online cinema ivi.
The Rambler spokesperson confirmed that the company had conducted talks with “almost all participants of the online cinemas market.”
Okko was launched in 2011 by founders of operator Yota, Sergei Adonyev and Albert Avdolyan, and the project was originally named as Yota Play. The service was later owned by the businessmen’s fund Telconet and managed by investment consultant Marsfield Capital. In late 2017, Okko was acquired by Era Capital of Marsfield Capital’s General Director Yekaterina Lapshina along with other assets from Telconet.
Merging with Rambler allows Lapshina to look forward to integration in home and cinema viewing. “It’s a synergy of online and offline consumption, all services strive to use it: classifieds, e-commerce, marketplaces. We’re very much satisfied by the estimation and are interested in receiving even more attractive figures at the end. If there is no end story, we’ll earn money together,” Lapshina said.
Unlike most of other online cinemas, Okko works without advertisements and offers users to subscribe or pay for a certain film. The model will maintain after the deal. Okko doubled revenue in 2017 to 1.38 billion rubles and ranks the second among online cinemas after ivi, whose revenue was 2.43 billion rubles. Okko sees its market share at 18%.
(57.5598 rubles – U.S. $1)