Honestbee to exit Singapore’s food delivery market, suspends on-demand laundry services

The online grocer had diversified into many on-demand niches but is now scaling back several of them.

Photo by leonie wise on Unsplash

After halting operations in the Philippines and cutting staff, the crisis at online grocer Honestbee continues.

The startup had diversified into many on-demand niches but is now scaling back several of them. It will be pulling out of Singapore’s food delivery market and also temporarily suspend its on-demand laundry services in Singapore from next Monday, affecting approximately 400 part-time delivery workers, according to Honestbee’s official statement.

The company claims that this decision is part of its strategic business review and will help improve focus and alignment with the firm’s strategic priorities.

Meanwhile, the startup’s grocery delivery services and physical supermarket, Habitat will continue to operate.

After the company halted its Filipino operations in April, its food delivery services in Thailand and Hong Kong were also stopped indefinitely. About a week later, there was a major leadership change. Brian Koo, a founding member of VC firm Formation 8, an investor in Honestbee, replaced the startup’s co-founder Joel Sng as chief executive officer.

A TechCrunch report suggests that one of the reasons for Honestbee’s struggle lies with its unproven (and cash-burning) business model. The company is now said to be seeking a minimum of SGD 20 million (USD 14.6 million) from investors, according to The Business Times.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad