AskMe shuts down, lays off 4,000 employees
As per latest reports, the consumer internet search platform AskMe has shut down its operations, laying off remaining of its staff. The company probably took the decision because of severe cash crunch.
The Gurugram-based company’s e-commerce website is still live but is not accepting any new orders. Sources close to the company stated that this unplanned shut down is because of the equally unplanned exit of its principal investor, Astro Holdings.
Last month, Malaysian billionaire Ananda Ramakrishna-led Astro Holdings exited AskMe Group, in which it owns 97% stake, after a long-drawn battle with minority shareholders. Astro Holdings made its last cash investment of around Rs 150 crore last month.
Recently, AskMe wrote a letter to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Registrar of Companies, asking them to ensure that Astro Holdings does not exit the country without meeting its liabilities and commitments.
Apart from this, AskMe also saw resignations from more than 650 of its employees, who had annual salary packages between Rs 2.5 lakh to 6 lakh. This sudden shutdown has affected more than 4,000 employees, vendors and other creditors.
AskMe.com was started as a classified portal in 2010. The company launched its online shopping portal Askmebazaar in 2012, which focused on small and medium enterprises. Later in 2013, AskMe was acquired by Getit.
The portal is associated with more than 12,000 merchants across 70 cities. It also entered the hyper local space with Askmebazaar’s next day delivery, and the fintech space with AskMePay’s AskMeFin. The company also invested $20 million in online furniture marketplace Mebelkart in August 2015.