For the previous seven years, grocery supply service HappyFresh has had a tumultuous journey, one which has come to an finish in Malaysia.
Its rise and supreme fall have been recorded by quite a few articles. However to save lots of you the time of submitting by the corporate’s previous data, we’ve compiled a listing of HappyFresh’s memorable chapters in Malaysia, organised in a linear narrative.
Delivery of an organization
HappyFresh was based in October 2014, modelling itself after Y Combinator alum Instacart, established in California two years prior.
The Indonesian-based firm had seven co-founders, each a seasoned tech participant in their very own proper.
CEO Markus Bihler had years of expertise as a non-public fairness investor and had served as CEO of the European firm Tirendo.
Benjamin Koellmann was the COO at Lazada group earlier than taking over the identical title at HappyFresh.
CTO Fajar Budiprasetyo had a stint in Yahoo! and co-founded two different firms earlier than HappyFresh.
Dr Konstantin Lange served as CFO, with earlier expertise in The Boston Consulting Group and a PhD in Finance.
Earlier than turning into CCO at HappyFresh, Kai Kux was COO at iMoney Group. Founding investor and govt chairman Tim Marbach had invested in quite a few different firms, whereas Monk’s Hill Enterprise’s Stefan Jung stepped on as an advisor.
It formally begins
On March 10, 2015, HappyFresh made its official debut after a month or so of being an invite-only platform.
HappyFresh was reported to have an undisclosed “single-digit million US$ pre-round A financing” (seven-digit determine).
Though based mostly in Indonesia, it looks like the app really began its providers in Malaysia first, in response to an article by Tech in Asia.
Collection A spherical & regional growth
In September 2015, HappyFresh raised US$12 million in its Collection A spherical. Led by Vertex Ventures and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, it additionally noticed participation from Asia Enterprise Group, BEENEXT, Ardent Capital, 500 Startups (now 500 International), and Cherry Ventures.
Based on a press launch then, the on-demand grocery supply app had efficiently expanded to Thailand and Taiwan.
In March 2016, it additionally made its debut within the Philippines.
Collection B & exiting the Philippines & Taiwan
Whereas asserting its Collection B funding spherical, HappyFresh concurrently withdrew from Taiwan and the Philippines.
The quantity raised for HappyFresh’s Collection B was undisclosed, however its CEO had reported that the quantity was increased in comparison with its Collection A spherical.
It was Monday (August 29, 2016) when it introduced its departure from Taiwan and the Philippines to focus on Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Based on Techcrunch, this information got here three days earlier on Friday to a workers of practically 1,000.
Tough occasions & the altering of CEOs
In January 2017, information that HappyFresh’s CEO had modified broke. Based on LinkedIn, although, the change from Markus Bilher to Guillem Segarra really occurred in November 2016.
An article by Tech in Asia reported that “the years 2016 and 2017 have been probably the most troublesome for the corporate”. This era noticed HappyFresh going “again to the drafting board” to deal with unit economics, logistics, and new enterprise models.
Based on the article, these measures allowed HappyFresh to start out seeing constructive margins.
Resurgence with Collection C
Maybe due to the aforementioned adjustments, HappyFresh noticed a flip for the higher in 2019, elevating US$20 million for its Collection C.
The spherical was led by the Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Progress Fund, with participation from Line Ventures, Singha Ventures, and in addition Seize Ventures (the funding arm of Seize).
Returning buyers included Vertex Ventures, Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, 500 Startups, and BeeNext.
Based on TechCrunch, the recent funds can be utilized by HappyFresh to “double down on know-how”, which might enhance personalisation for purchasers and supply extra environment friendly logistics.
Pandemic breakthrough & upward development
As everyone knows, 2020 was the yr of the coronavirus, the place everybody turned caught in their very own houses. It was a troublesome time, one which noticed “risky visitors” on the HappyFresh platform, in response to Tech in Asia.
“HappyFresh has been experiencing a 10x to 20x development throughout the three international locations it operates in because it sees a shift in prospects’ behaviour towards on-line groceries,” reads the Tech in Asia article from 2020 itself.
In these moments of disaster, HappyFresh had served as a lifesaver for Malaysians, Thais, and Indonesians.
Increasing into having its personal supermarkets
Earlier this yr in July 2022, HappyFresh formally launched its line of cloud warehouses in Malaysia, named HappyFresh Grocery store.
In an interview with Vulcan Put up, the corporate’s chief development officer, Johan Antlov, shared that the transfer was for them to construct their very own paths and have end-to-end management over the entire HappyFresh expertise.
Short-term suspension of operations
That have got here to a standstill on September 8, 2022. The HappyFresh app out of the blue featured a submit saying that every one shops on its platforms can be quickly closed.
This got here after an article from Bloomberg that HappyFresh was going by some monetary issues, reportedly having employed turnaround agency Alvarez and Marsal to evaluation its accounts.
Based on the Bloomberg article, the Jakarta-based firm had a minimum of US$97 million (about RM437 million) in debt financing, and a number of the firm’s senior executives had allegedly stopped dealing with their day-to-day duties.
HappyFresh Malaysia’s automated response on Fb on the time shared that the corporate was underdoing organisational proscribing and strategizing to make sure enterprise continuity.
It additionally shared that HappyFresh’s enterprise operations can be positioned on maintain quickly till the corporate had reached a definitive and sustainable answer.
A brief-lived comeback
On September 9, Vulcan Put up learnt that the app had silently resumed its operations, a minimum of for that day.
Nevertheless, the one vendor open for deliveries was HappyFresh Grocery store, and even then, not all warehouse areas have been obtainable.
The Vulcan Put up staff was capable of order from the Bangsar location. When requested, the HappyFresh rider who arrived stated that he wasn’t positive whether or not the service would proceed the next week.
A funding win
Amidst the monetary struggles and board reshuffling, HappyFresh managed to safe undisclosed funding from buyers. Introduced on September 21, this enabled the corporate to renew operations in Indonesia.
Nevertheless, issues have been nonetheless unsure for its Thailand and Malaysia operations, with Bloomberg reporting that the corporate was “contemplating choices”.
Bowing out of Malaysia and Thailand
In the end, HappyFresh formally introduced its withdrawal from Malaysia and Thailand on September 22. This announcement got here through the corporate’s social media accounts from the 2 areas.
“It’s with a heavy coronary heart that the supply of this message can be our final supply to you,” a Fb submit from HappyFresh Malaysia reads.
Thanking its prospects for the previous seven years, HappyFresh cited the present financial situation as why it was “left with no alternative however to stop operations, efficient instantly”.
HappyFresh’s official withdrawal from Malaysia could function a sign for the dwindling demand for grocery supply providers now that the nation is within the endemic part.
Nonetheless, Malaysians who’ve been counting on HappyFresh have many different alternate options remaining, a few of which we’ve got outlined in one other article.
With all of HappyFresh’s authentic founders having lengthy moved on to different firms, it looks like its prospects—a minimum of in Malaysia and Thailand—should, too.
- Learn extra articles we’ve written about HappyFresh right here.