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In line with its commitment to support innovative business ideas, AskmePay, the integrated merchant solution by the AskMe Group, announced a strategic partnership with Catapooolt, India’s premier crowdfunding and community engagement platform. The unique partnership endeavors to offer idea-to-market support for product innovations, by building a robust support infrastructure at every stage of the product innovation process.

The alliance will discover interesting product based innovation ideas from India, support their prototype development through community crowdfunding, provide them with a ready to use platform to e-sell and market their products, collect payments and push customized deals and notifications through the AskmePay app. The product innovators will also be eligible for easy financing through products offered via AskmeFin, a SME financing initiative of the AskMe group.

AskMe group will be the ‘Official E-Commerce Partner’ for the ongoing Catapooolt Changemakers Challenge, the first-of-its-kind of crowdfunding initiative spread across India and an initiative conceptualized to hunt for disruptive ideas. As a part of the Challenge, Catapooolt is reaching out to potential innovation hubs, including Makers Communities, E-Cells in leading educational institutes and other start-up hubs, through its various partners which include Chatur Ideas, NEN, ah!Ventures, The Economic Times and others. The product innovation ideas, which would get shortlisted towards the end of the Challenge will get crowdfunding from Catapooolt. AskMe group will be the exclusive online platform for selling products of those startups and provide marketing and easy payment collection support from AskmePay. AskmePay is the unique initiative of AskMe Group which will provide SMEs and startups with an easy payment collection options from buyers and a marketing platform for prompting their products, deals , discount coupons, promotions etc.

Talking about the unique partnership, Satish Kataria, Founder & Managing Director – Catapooolt.com said, “Product based innovation is still in its infancy stages in India and it is only now that such innovators are getting a favorable ecosystem to continue innovating. We, at Catapooolt, envision to truly promote innovation in India, especially amongst the category of products, Internet of Things, gadgets and unique services – and this is where we feel that this unique partnership with AskmeBazaar is perhaps first-in-the-world support infrastructure – to discover, guide, fund and market product innovations in India. We are thankful to AskmeBazaar.com for syncing with us on this vision and offering us their valuable support. While crowdfunding would empower these ideas with critical component of market validation –the suite of services that the AskMe group offers through its various platforms and partners will then take these innovations to quickly scale up and establish their market.”

Commenting further on the partnership, Mr. Anand Sonbhadra, Chief Financial Officer, AskMe Group and CEO, AskmePay, said, “At AskMe, we have always attempted to make a difference in the market and empower the seller community, be it through our innovative products or through the strength of our distribution network. The ‘Grow with Us’ initiative that we launched in the end of last year reiterates our commitment to SMEs in the country. This new and unique plug-in with Catapooolt, would not only offer immense support to the upcoming innovations, but also provide unique products to millions of our consumers, thus rewarding them with a differentiated shopping experience. We are committed to encouraging product innovation in India and this tie-up with Catapooolt will help startups in India to generate sales and grow their business.Our holistic merchant solution, AskmePay, will enable these innovators to reach out to a ready base of buyers to e-sell their offerings, collect payments and push relevant deals and promotions to encourage repeat purchases.”

Speaking on the alliance, Mr. Pawan Lohia, CEO, AskmeFin, said “We, at AskmeFin, are building an ecosystem of financial institutions that can offer a suite of financing options to sellers associated with us. Catapooolt is the first crowdfunding partner for AskmeFin. These startups will get easy finance options on the basis of transactions history on our various marketing platforms. We are excited about this association as this will give us the opportunity to help build businesses from the scratch and be a partner as they transform their ideas into reality.”

AskMe Group would also be supporting the Grand Finale of the Catapooolt ChangeMakers Challenge scheduled to take place in April 2016, along with being the ‘Official E-Commerce Portal’ for the event. The Grand Finale would witness top 15 ideas from across the country and allow these ideas to be pitched to the leading angel investors for upto INR 5 Crores in funding support.