Singapore-headquartered fintech firm GoBear on Tuesday announced that it has decided to cease operations and begin an orderly closure of business. The pandemic has made it difficult to raise funds, the company said in a statement. Prolonged travel and mobility restrictions in Southeast Asia led to weakened demand for its financial products and services, especially travel insurance.
The closure will be conducted in a phased and controlled manner over a short time frame and in adherence with local laws and regulations across the markets it operates. “This is a difficult time for our employees, and our priority is to conduct the process with the utmost care and guidance to our staff,” said GoBear CEO Adrian Chng. “We take our responsibility to our customers, employees, partners, and vendors very seriously and we intend to fulfil our existing commitments.”
GoBear was launched in 2015 as a metasearch engine and it has grown into a one-stop fintech platform, offering various financial products. Its website is available in seven markets—Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The firm claims to have served over 55 million users searching for more than 2,000 personal finance products.
The 165 staff in six offices across Asia will be provided with the required notice periods and salaries. GoBear will work with relevant authorities to ensure adherence to local laws and regulations, the statement said.
The firm seemed to have experienced a strong start in 2020 with USD 17 million of new capital raised in May, bringing the total funding to USD 97 million, according to Crunchbase. It didn’t save the company which has been struggling with various challenges for months. In September, GoBear laid off 11% of its total workforce as part of a number of cost-cutting measures that included the termination of non-essential projects, reductions of fixed costs and software licenses.