One of the busiest sectors of Singapore’s startup scene — on-demand meal delivery — just got a bit more crowded. Grocery delivery startup honestbee will be launching the service next week, it announced in a Facebook post yesterday.
The company announced it will add meal delivery service in Singapore’s Central Business District, Bukit Merah and River Valley.
Plus, the company is including a launch-week competition for a chance to win S$30 (US$21) worth of meals. Read more on the Facebook post attached below.
honestbee has made its name as a grocery delivery startup across Asia. In Singapore, its main competition is the recently-acquired RedMart, while in countries like Indonesia it competes with HappyFresh.
According to the company’s factsheet, honestbee has 146 full-time employees and 1,200 shoppers to deploy into the new vertical.
In Singapore, the on-demand meal delivery industry is robust and highly competitive. It includes brand-name companies like foodpanda, deliveroo and UberEATS along with niche companies like Grain, DishDash and AMGD.
That being said, it does not necessarily mean adding the additional vertical is a bad decision. According to multiple off-the-record conversations with ecosystem community members, one of the bright spots of Singapore’s startup economy is the ‘on-demand services’ sector. Whether it is Uber or Grab for transportation, or the multiple options for food delivery, people in the city are continuing to use on-demand services.
As the former Singapore General Manager of Deliveroo told e27 last fall, Deliveroo had captured about 5 per cent of the potential market in Singapore. This was said in the context of future opportunity, and that while meal delivery is a competitive field, the potential market is still large — meaning there may very well be room for honestbee.
What makes honestbee’s move particularly interesting is, until now, food delivery startups have stayed in their lane. Grocery delivery startups focussed on groceries and meal delivery brought cooked-food to its customers.
honestbee will be a pioneer for companies considering both verticals, so it will be worth keeping tabs on its success or failure.