Amidst growing complaints of selling fake goods, non-delivery of products and allegations of scams, Philippines’ second largest daily deals site CashCashPinoy has wound up operations.
In a message posted on its site, the Hera Capital-backed company said: “We’re taking some time out from the spotlight to work on the new and revitalized CashCashPinoy. Stay tuned for our comeback and watch this space for the big reveal. See you soon.”
It is not immediately clear as to what led to the shutdown of the business. We are reaching out to CashCashPinoy, as well as some of the top executives of Hera Capital for details. We will update this article as and when we hear from them.
CashCashPinoy was co-founded in 2010 by French entrepreneur Frederic Levy. It used to be a discounts site offering its members bargains from selected restaurants, fashion stores, and hotels in the Philippines. It enabled payments via e-commerce platforms, credit card, PayPal, GCash, bank deposits, and even over-the-counter. In March 2014, the firm started accepting Bitcoin payments.
As per Crunch Base, CashCashPinoy raised a total of US$3.9 million in funding over three rounds, which included a US$2.25 million from Singapore-based PE firm Hera Capital in 2014.
As soon as the fundraising news hit the headlines in November 2014, the company started to witness complaints being filed against it by customers. Most of the complaints were about delivery of fake goods and low-quality/defect products. Some of it users took to the firm’s Facebook page, which has since been deleted, and various other public platforms to report on the non-delivery of items.
The complaints eventually reached CashCashPinoy’s various luxury retailer partners in the US, pushing some of them to demand action against CashCashPinoy. As per a November 2014 report by TechInAsia, a complaint from one of its users named Prescilla Ann Lapira about receiving fake goods prompted US-based online payment service PayPal as well as Philippine banking giant BDO (CashCashPinoy’s credit card payment system provider) to pull the plug on transactions originating from the site.
A few months ago a user posted on business rating and reviews site Site Jabber that CashCashPinoy had filed for bankruptcy.
However, in an interview to us in November 2014, Levy had claimed that the charges levelled against CashCashPinoy by Lapira were false and that it had initiated legal actions against her.
In the meantime, a source aware of the turn of events at CashCashPinoy, told e27: “They (CashCashPinoy) are now in hiding mode and no response can be expected in the next days. I have received reports that employees have been left unpaid, and merchants and customers are now stranded with worthless vouchers as Cashcashpinoy is not releasing any money,” the person said.
When asked about the message appeared on the site requesting for some time for a comeback, the person noted: “It could be purely a waiting game they are playing to prevent customers and merchants from demanding back their money right now, in the hope that they will forget the claims as the weeks and months will pass by. This would be very much their latest ploy which is in line with their skewed and unethical actions over the past years detailed above.”