E-commerce site AskMe shuts down, thousands of employees laid off

In yet another sad chapter in the Indian startup ecosystem, e-commerce site and consumer internet search platform AskMe has shut down and is in the process of laying off its 4000 odd staff


In yet another sad chapter in the Indian startup ecosystem, e-commerce site and consumer internet search platform AskMe has shut down and is in the process of laying off its 4000 odd staff. The reason behind the shut down is being stated as severe cash crunch according to a report in The Economic Times.

While the AskMe.com portal is still live, none of the orders placed there are being accepted. According to sources who have spoken to ET, one of the reasons for the shut down is also being speculated as the unplanned exit of one of its principal investor Astro Holdings.

Astro Holdings, which held a 97 percent stake in AskMe Group exited after making its last cash investment of Rs 150 crore. AskMe had even written to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Registrar of Companies to prevent Astro Holdings from leaving without meeting its liabilities and commitments, but it was all in vain.

In recent times, around 650 employees had also resigned from AskMe. The site was formed in 2010 and it launched its online shopping site called AskMeBazaar in 2012 with small and medium enterprises. AskMe is associated with around 12,000 merchants in 70 cities. It also offered next-day delivery.

Recently, Ola also shut down its TaxiForSure division thanks to the latters integration with Ola Micro service. This has lead to around 700 to 1000 people losing their jobs as well, while some employees from TaxiForSure have been absorbed into Ola.

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