#Asia Singaporean food delivery startup hawker.today bites the dust


This unsustainable business model claims yet another victim


Nary a day passes without a tale of the tumultuous times of the food tech — or, let’s face it, it’s usually food delivery — industry as startups struggle to break the cycle of unprofitability. Just last Friday, we broke the news of India-based Grofers shutting down operations in nine cities and laying off employees.

Now, barely eight months into its launch, Singaporean food delivery startup hawker.today has announced its business has ceased.

Unlike other food delivery startups such as foodpanda or Deliveroo, both of which curate from a wide selection of gourmet outlets, hawker.today had a simpler aim: to put hawker fare into hungry stomaches within the hour.

It claimed its app could accomplish this via its trademarked e-hawker technology, which optimises delivery route patterns using machine learning.

Also Read: Deliveroo sets its sight to rule the food delivery scene in Asia

However, it still had a delivery charge — S$4.50 (US$3.30) and up. Initially, it implemented a minimum order of S$8 (US$6) but that was later scrapped in favour of a surcharge of S$3 (US$2.2o) for orders below S$12 (US$9).

It doesn’t take a math whiz to realise this puts the cost of even the most modest hawker food at a premium; For context, my daily diet of BBQ Korean chicken and egg amounts to S$5.00 (US$3.70).

To aggravate matters, COO and co-founder Kevin Lee wrote a Facebook post to justify a delivery cost hike of nearly five times, earning the ire and ridicule of the internet mob.

Faced with a choice of calling it quits or persevering through derision and foggy prospects, hawker.today chose the former. Here is co-founder Jonathan Faynop’s departing message:

“Dearest hawker today fans,

With a heavy heart, I am deeply sadden to announce to you that hawker.today as of effective dated 31st July 2016 has cease its operations and no longer be available.
The team at hawker.today including myself wishes to thank you and all the supporters for taking part in our journey.

Over these period, rain or shine, late or cancelled orders, we gave our all to fulfil every customer’s request and we thank the whole majority of you for being so kind with my riders, my customer success team, my operations team and most importantly being so supportive of taking part in this journey with my team and I.”

Here’s the second part:

“Please allow 2 minutes of your time as I will like to share my story with you~

My management team and I set out to build a company that is more than just a typical food delivery business, but ultimately a zero to one company that believes in continuing the hawker heritage through time using technology. And I believed many of our regulars & VVIP do have the first hand experience of our purpose.

I strongly believe that the hawker/local food heritage especially in Singapore as I am born and bred here, deserves the appropriate pride & appreciation and it is been a huge honourable opportunity that my team and I had the chance to try our very best at taking a shot at it. I am 26 this year and like many people of my age, before getting into this hawker business, I admit I lost touch with the hawker/local scene and industry, until this journey did I uncover that rich and mesmerising heritage our fathers and their fathers had which helped built the beautiful nation we live in today.

Unfortunately, instead of building a bigger and better business, there were constant unforeseen restriction due to internal issues, limiting our growth, which is a great shame.

We thank the each and every person who stood with us and constantly supporting us in making orders and in spirit. Therefore in this open letter to you, my team and I will like to express our deepest appreciation and sincere thanks to each and every one of you, for without your supports we may not have grew so much love for this hawker heritage we have in this tiny red dot, Uniquely Singapura.

I hope and look forward to continue my journey in this direction and belief. Hopefully joining a stronger company in the near future and should opportunity arises, each of you shall never be forgotten.

I look forward to connect with each of you individually. Now that we live in a huge world made so small by technology such as Facebook, Linkedin etc.. I have listed my Facebook and Linkedin below for us to keep in touch. So as to provide you with any updates.

Thank you for taking this time to read this letter.

Facebook – http://ift.tt/2aLXR71
Linkedin – http://ift.tt/2aJQQqy

Jonathan faynop”

The post Singaporean food delivery startup hawker.today bites the dust appeared first on e27.

from e27 http://ift.tt/2aLYiON

This entry was posted in #Asia by Startup365. Bookmark the permalink.

About Startup365

Chaque jour nous vous présenterons une nouvelle Startup française ! Notre pays regorge de talents et d'entrepreneurs brillants ! Alors partons à la découverte des meilleures startup françaises ! Certaines d'entre elles sont dans une étape essentielle dans la vie d'une startup : la recherche de financement, notamment par le financement participatif (ou crowdfunding en anglais). Alors participez à cette grande aventure en leur faisant une petite donation ! Les startups françaises ont besoin de vous !