Sinemia

We recently completed our final investment of 2015 in Sinemia. This is the second investment we’ve completed through the Borsa Istanbul (Istanbul Stock Exchange) Private Market platform. The first was Modanisa’s most recent round which took place earlier this year.

Sinemia is a membership club that lets you watch a movie per day at theaters across Turkey for a monthly fee starting at 59 TL. Movie tickets in Istanbul tend to cost upwards of 20 TL so you can see how getting a Sinemia membership can quickly become a profitable investment.

Sinemia’s founder Rifat Oguz launched the business in May 2014 while working at Turkcell. The business’ consistent growth over the next year convinced Rifat to leave Turkcell and begin working on Sinemia full-time in August 2015. We met with Rifat in November and, impressed by his traction and vision for the future of the company, made a fast investment offer.

This was the first time that we made an investment offer in person, an approach whose benefits I outlined in an earlier post. At the time of the original post, Rifat had yet to accept our offer. Now that he has, I’m an even stronger proponent of communicating investment offers in person rather than over email or the phone.

As for Sinemia, we believe that the business is just getting started. Despite the global growth of online movie streaming which is often seen as a substitute for watching movies in a physical theater, the Turkish market is seeing continued growth in movie ticket sales. The reason is that the negative effect of online movie streaming is more than offset by Turkey’s growing and increasingly wealthy middle class’ greater disposable income. Part of this growing disposable income is spent on movie tickets.

Despite the increase in movie theater attendance, theaters have yet to operate at full capacity. And Sinemia’s up-front subscription model is a great way to bridge the gap between attendance and capacity. The combination of Sinemia’s subscription pricing model and the fact that it can be used at any movie theater make it appealing for movie goers.

I became a Sinemia member on the 3rd of December and have already watched 3 movies using my membership. The mobile app-enabled movie ticket purchase experience is seamless. And at a price of over 20 TL per ticket, I’ve already recouped my 59 TL monthly investment. Any more movies that I watch until the 3rd of January are effectively free.