In the past couple of months, Southeast Asia’s grocery ecommerce space has been quickly heating up.
Tech players always say they welcome competition because it will educate the market (or something like that), but we all know that’s just a safe way to respond to a tough question. At the same time, as if having chess pieces strategically placed across a war map, three companies are working feverishly to position themselves for dominance in the region’s online grocery industry. RedMart, HappyFresh, and Honestbee may be names you’ve already heard of if you like having fresh veggies delivered to your apartment in Singapore, Jakarta, or Kuala Lumpur.
There’s already a strong rivalry between RedMart and HappyFresh, and then Singapore’s Honestbee last month joined the fight with a whopping US$15 million series A funding round. Now, instead of two companies going head-to-head, it’s a trifecta, with each firm possessing its own unique selling points.
Honestbee and HappyFresh are “asset light” business models. RedMart is far more robust and capital intensive. Honestbee and RedMart have competed for quite some time in Singapore already, and will meet once again in Hong Kong. HappyFresh and RedMart haven’t stepped into the same ring yet, but will do so soon in Jakarta.
What weapons do these startups bring to the battle? Here’s a visual representation of Southeast Asia’s online grocery war in the making. How do you think this will play out? Is there a winner-takes-all scenario?
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