SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--honestbee, a fast-growing on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service company based in Singapore, today announced that it has successfully raised the first round of funding of US$15 million.
Participants1 in this round led by Formation 8 include:
- Pejman Mar Ventures, early investors of Dropbox, Lending Club and DoorDash
- Gideon Yu, former CFO of Facebook and YouTube, as well as the co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers
- Owen T. Van Natta, founding team of Amazon’s search company A9.com and former COO of Facebook. He is currently also part of 415 Investments
- Steve Chen, Google Ventures Advisor, as well as co-founder and former CTO of YouTube
1More information below
“We are very excited and blessed to have been able to attract support from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors with unparalleled track records in the world. honestbee will benefit tremendously, as we now have immediate access to the top minds who have built the most valuable technology companies in the world today, such as Amazon, YouTube, Google, Square, Dropbox, DoorDash and Palantir,” said co-founder, Isaac Tay.
“We started with a mission to create a highly elastic and trained workforce that would bring invaluable convenience to our customers through our concierge and delivery services. Most people in Asia are time-starved due to the demands of their job and a large proportion of the population do not possess their own vehicles. With our on-demand delivery service, time-crunched customers can enjoy the widest choices from their favourite stores, even at the last minute, when they shop through honestbee,” he added.
“Formation 8 believes that the hyper-local on-demand market plays a significant role in the way commerce will evolve. Given the increasing population density across all the key cities in Asia due to job and wealth creation, this is right time and opportunity,” said Formation 8 founder, Brian Koo. “Consumers now demand higher levels of access to convenience. With honestbee’s superior partnership network and its strong focus on building a world class technology company, they will be well-positioned to quickly own this market.”
honestbee partners with top supermarkets and specialty stores such as the largest grocery retailer in Singapore with NTUC FairPrice, the largest pet products company, Pet Lovers Center, as well as gourmet boutiques and specialty stores, Gastronomia Da Paolo, MMMM!, The Butcher’s Dog, Crystal Wines, GNC and Four Seasons Organic, in Singapore. This enables these traditional grocery companies to significantly increase their revenue through honestbee’s on-demand e-commerce platform where they fulfil customers’ orders in as little time as within the next hour, and becoming the retailer’s new best friend.
To drive this growth, honestbee has expanded its team to almost 100 people in just eight months, and continues to aggressively scout and hire the best talent from around the world. With aggressive plans to expand across Asia, honestbee expects to be in at least six other Tier 1 cities by June 2016.
Just last week, honestbee launched in Hong Kong, offering a one-stop shop for a range of products to meet the needs of busy customers.
Market Growth Potential
According to a Goldman Sachs report2, the online grocery shopping market in Asia is currently estimated at US$18 billion with online carts typically being 1.8 times larger than store-based retail at checkout.
The willingness to use digital retailing options in the future is highest in the developing markets, with Asia Pacific at 60% in a recent Nielson report3, signaling the great potential for growth in online grocery delivery services in the region.
In light of the potential, however, this space is under-penetrated, with intended providers facing challengers in both services and delivery.
honestbee’s solution to these challenges – a model that has proven successful in this sharing economy – is to utilize someone else’s spare time to shop and deliver groceries, thus freeing up customers to spend their time doing more of what they enjoy.
With a crowdsourced workforce, orders are fulfilled by concierge shoppers who shop at top supermarkets and boutiques stores, and a delivery team which brings the orders to customers’ homes, all within-the-next-hour golden time slots of choice. This eliminates the cost of infrastructure building, such as the need for warehousing, additional manpower and equipment. In return, honestbee brings increased efficiency and convenience to customers, as well as improved margins for partners.
2The Infinite Shelf, Goldman Sachs
3Nielsen Global E-Commerce and The New Retail Report April 2015, Nielsen
About Formation 8
Formation 8 is a technology investment firm focused on building transformative global companies. The firm is a sought-after strategic partner to entrepreneurs, providing active management support and leveraging its deep networks around the world to help portfolio companies accelerate their growth. Founded in 2011, the firm has led early growth investments in innovative companies like Oculus, Relate IQ and Yello Mobile. Formation 8 is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Palo Alto, Seoul, Singapore and Shanghai.
honestbee is the first concierge grocery delivery service for all your household and grocery needs in Asia. We deliver to your doorstep on the same day, within the next hour. Simply choose from the widest online product selection and place your order in a few simple clicks. Our trained shoppers will then handpick your groceries for you, from the same grocery stores and brands that you trust and love.
Social Mission: honestbee’s social mission is to create sustainable job opportunities for all individuals who are looking for more flexible working hours. Our goal is to provide extensive skill upgrading and training and to create employment opportunities for everyone in our communities.
Note to editors:
More about Investors
Formation 8 is a venture capital firm that invests in financial and strategic growth to early enterprises. Their investments past and present include, Oculus, RelateIQ, lucid, Radius, Bolt Threads and many others.
Gideon Yu is the former CFO of Facebook and YouTube, as well as co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
Steve Chen is the co-founder and former CTO of YouTube. He is a keen investor who constantly seeks out new technology to invest in, and currently with Google Ventures.
Owen T. Van Natta, is the former COO of Facebook. He was instrumental in the early days of Amazon, where he worked closely with Jeff Bezos to build Amazon to where it is today. He has held other key positions, including former CEO of MySpace and former EVP at Zynga. Owen is a keen investor in the marketplace, and is currently with 415 Investments.
Pejman Mar Ventures is one of the most successful investing firms in Silicon Valley, having built some of tech’s hottest start-ups. Founder, Pejam Nozad, was named "one of the most successful angel investors” by Forbes in 2012. Their investments include, Dropbox, DoorDash, Zoosk, Lending Club, SoundHound and Badgeville, among many others.