Honestbee, a Singaporean logistic startup is facing a huge crisis. The three year old company is nearly out of money.
Once claimed as the fastest growing e-commerce in Asia
Joel Sng, Isaac Tay, and Jonathan Low started the company at 2015. A Silicon Valley investment firm, Formation 8, invested big on the company. With the sturdy back up, it rapidly expanded to other countries such as Hongkong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan.
Soon after, the company claimed to be the fastest growing startup in Asia. Also one of the biggest e-commerce site in the region. It had 300 workers and 12,000 driver and shop partners.
Honestbee did a good job in setting itself apart from its competitors such as HappyFresh and RedMart. Instead of opening its own warehouse, it secures many partnerships with already established stores. With that, it was easier for them to expand to other countries as they only need to find partners.
Honestbee cash crash
Carrying on the big dream, it also started on its plan of expanding to other countries. It opened R&D offices in Vietnam and India. Just to be stopped after its cash crash.
The employees reported that there are no news on when or will they be paid. And it was not the first time as late payments had occurred several times before.
The situation is just as bad outside its home country. It has halted its services in Indonesia and Thailand. And its’ Philippine CEO is getting out of the company. The lack of cash from its headquarters is just too much even in Philippines which has the best performance.
Is there any hope left?
Following that, Honestbee replaced its’ co-founder and CEO, Sng with Brian Koo. Koo is the person behind Formation 8 and a member of LG Corp. With the replacement, Koo has a big task to put the company right.
But even though it looks like its the direst moment, it’s not entirely unfixable. HappyFresh, its’ competitor, had actually faced similar problem in 2015. It even pulled out of markets. But now it is operating profitably with its latest $20 million investment.