Co-Founder & CEO Of honestBee Allegedly Let Go After ‘Cashflow’ Issues Surfaced

Image: insideretail.asia

In this fast-moving day and age, any news more than 24 hours might be considered stale.

But bear with us as we give you an update on honestBee, which is currently turning out to be yet another disruptor firm-turned-cautionary-tale shit-storm (aka MoBike, Ofo and the likes), honestly speaking.

If you aren’t aware, honestBee which was founded in 2015 and operates right out of Singapore, and has a presence in 8 markets across Asia: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong,  Taiwan, Philippines and Japan.

Since 2015, it has reportedly raised more than $60 million from investors and currently has about a 1000 people under its payroll.

But the wheels have come falling of this delivery-bandwagon as its cashflow issues have surfaced in the media in recent weeks.

CEO Let Go

According to TechCrunch, the same publication that got the scoop about honestbee’s cashflow alleged problems earlier,  honestBee has reportedly let go of its CEO, Joel Sng, according to two sources with knowledge of his exit.

Sng, who co-founded honestBee back in 2015, was reported to have been asked to clear his desk and vacate his office on Tuesday, 30 April 2019.

Of the three co-founders, only Jonathan Low, who leads honestbee’s engineering team remains, while Issac Tay left the firm last year.

While it isn’t clear who will be taking over the reins following Sng’s departure, sources told TechCrunch that Sng’s right-hand man was Roger Koh, whose current job is listed as a principal with Formation 8 – which was instrumental in leading honestbee’s $15 million Series A round in 2015.

Suspending Business in 4 out of 8 Markets

Sng’s departure comes amidst honestBee’s announcement which sees it suspending operation on 4 out of the 8 markets in which the firm is currently operating in.

The firm has also stopped offering food delivery, a newly-minted service it launched in recent years for the food delivery piece of the pie, in Thailand and Hong Kong.

In another sign of the shaky-financial ground threatening to give way under the heavy weight of honestBee’s cash burn-rate of about $6.5 million loss per month, the firm announced that it will be laying off 10% of its 1000-strong workforce.

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This comes after honestBee initially shared last week that it was laying off six per cent of its workforce.

To make matters worse, it was reported that honestBee told its staff to anticipate delays in April’s payroll, according to their sources.

In response, honestBee shared they “would like to stress that this is untrue. We will ensure that all employees across all markets, including Singapore, are paid in a timely manner.”

Just how long more honestBee will operate independently, or as a subsidiary of one of its few potential buyers, remains to be seen.

Assuming it doesn’t fold entirely.