Honestbee Philippines sent an email to partner merchants, contract workers, and customers, stating they will cease local operations until further notice. No exact explanations were given, except that there is a matter to be settled from their headquarters.
Last January, the online grocery and food delivery service from Singapore announced that they will be temporarily pausing partnership with FairPrice. While honestbee did not specify the time period of the break with the supermarket company, FairPrice shared that it will be a permanent arrangement.
Based on a report from Dongshen News, honestbee owes money to its partner vendors in Taiwan. One merchant told the local media that the firm has been delaying payments, while another said that it has not received any payment from honestbee since January.
Honestbee emphasized that they are not having money problems and that they are streamlining payment processes. They argued that some of the payment delays were because their parent company is in Singapore.
According to Tech in Asia, multiple sources within the startup said honestbee has retrenched at least 50 to 70 people out of its 1,000-strong staff across South East Asia last week.
Thirty of their workers in the food delivery and operations departments were let go in Thailand. Meanwhile, more than five employees were terminated in Indonesia. It remains unclear if this retrenchment is part of a restructuring exercise.
In the Philippines however, all workforce remain intact.
Crystal Gonzalez, managing director of honestbee, shared, “We are just temporarily pausing operations we are NOT closed. All countries are working with HQ now to improve the processes and bring total business to a healthy sustainable level.”
The Philippines is honestbee’s best-performing market. On the other hand, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan are some of its other top markets.
The firm declared that it will resume operations but did not say when specifically. The matter is slated to be clarified today.
Banner photo courtesy of Honestbee PH.