Just when you thought that you knew who your customers are, along comes Honestbee.
Honestbee, Singapore's fast-growing, on-demand grocery concierge and delivery service has raised first round funding of US$15 million from experienced eCommerce and online business experts including:
Pejman Mar Ventures, early investors in Dropbox, Lending Club and DoorDash.Gideon Yu, former CFO of Facebook and YouTube; co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers.Owen T Van Natta, founding team of Amazon search company A9.com and former COO of Facebook.Steve Chen, Google Ventures advisor, as well as co-founder and former CTO of YouTube.
As reported in Inside Retail Asia last week, Honestbee works with supermarket partners and specialty retailers, enabling these traditional grocery companies to significantly increase their revenue through Honestbee's on-demand eCommerce platform, where they fulfill customers' orders in as little time as within the next hour.
Like Uber, Honestbee enables everyday people to become a service provider or as they call them, BEE's, for those time poor customers looking for someone to do their shopping for them.
While the supermarket majors in this market push their own Click & Collect or Online services, Honestbee can work just as well with fresh produce, meat and perishable chains outside of the main supermarket, giving it more variety and flexibility to work with other independent chains.
Clearly this system is targeted for built up urban areas, however it is a prime example of what we like to call interruption marketing or as I heard last week at the UCB conference, an agitator business model.
Models such as these are needed in the market as they challenge traditional thinking and open up the market to more possibilities, with innovative thinking.
The challenge for traditional marketers is not a question of if, but at what point in the cycle will they engage with these business models as one more part to their overall sales and marketing strategy.
Thanks for reading
Craig Matthews is the MD of Stock Box, with over 30 years industry experience in retail development, specialising in independent retail programs.