Top Silicon Valley investors provide first round of funding for
on-demand concierge grocery delivery service to scale up operations
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
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
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
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
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
2The Infinite Shelf, Goldman Sachs
3Nielsen Global E-Commerce and The New Retail Report April
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
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
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