AskMe might lose its Prime Investor – Astro Holdings


Astro Holdings which holds almost 90% shares is rumored to exploring its exit

After the acquisition of AskMe by Getit from Network 18 in 2013, it was a struggle for the brand to get into the lucrative market. Nevertheless, it could get on and was able to grab the attention of investors in time. When everyone thought it was running all better, attention has been diverted.

The prime investor of the Getit Infoservices Pvt. Ltd., Astro Holdings which holds almost 90% shares is rumored to exploring its exit. This came as a shock, as it appeared as a bad news at the time of harvest.

Everything seemed greener – local classifieds business was on to a lift; grocery business was growing by huge scale; e-commerce department was gaining more merchants. It went far as to hit a GMV of a million dollar per day.

Kiran Murthi, the CEO of AskmeBazaar claimed, “Our hyper-local model, next-day delivery (NDD) and grocery are doing well and we’re scaling up the technology and the brand. The gross merchandise value of grocery and the next-day delivery space is large at around INR 200 Crore a month.”

Astro has invested INR 800 crores in Getit, according to the reports with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. Moreover, it was in deal with Alibaba and Baidu to raise more bucks.

Quite lately, AskMe faced resignations from as many as 650 employees amidst cash crunch and a monthly cash burn rate of more than $6 Mn. Most of the employees who were relieved were in the annual salary range of INR 2.5 lakh – INR 6 lakh. However, as per the filings, Getit’s major investors Helion Ventures and Astro Holdings seem to show no more interest to invest within the country.

To put it in a sentence, just when Askme thought it could fly, its wings were put on hold by its investors. Only time will know when it could fly.

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