Start Singapore: RedMart expands on-demand service

A worker picking grocery items according to customer orders at local online grocery retailer RedMart's warehouse at Jalan Terusan on July 17, 2014.
A worker picking grocery items according to customer orders at local online grocery retailer RedMart's warehouse at Jalan Terusan on July 17, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

RedMart expands on-demand service

Singapore's e-grocer RedMart wants to be an everything store like e-commerce giant Amazon. 

It has expanded from selling groceries online to a new area of on-demand service, providing personal shopping for people who want hot meals, household items or electronics delivered within one hour of ordering. Online orders for groceries are delivered the next day.

This service, called RedMart Relay, is available to consumers living in Tiong Bahru, Telok Blangah, Keppel, Sentosa, West Coast, Tanjong Pagar and Marina Bay. The service will go nationwide by early next year. 

RedMart co-founder and chief executive Roger Egan said recently that its advantage over other e-commerce competitors is that it has more repeat customers and that its delivery network can offer faster and cheaper delivery. 

The start-up has learnt from its online grocery business where it controls the ordering, fulfilment and delivery process. It started with groceries because it is the largest market with repeat customers as well as requiring complex but robust technology and logistics infrastructure. 


Portal on insights into tech start-ups

Data and insights into Singapore's tech start-up community will now be available on a new portal called techsg (techsg.io).

It is a free platform that provides curated research insights as well as the analytical tools to monitor and track the various start-up and entrepreneurial developments. It is developed by NUS Enterprise and Singapore prototyping start-up Wonderlabs and supported by IBM. 

Professor Wong Poh Kam, director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre, said techsg pulls information from different sources, including the media and the Department of Statistics. The centre is part of NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurship arm of the National University of Singapore.

He said there is a need for such a portal because the number of tech start-ups has grown rapidly from fewer than 3,000 in 2004 to more than 5,600 at the end of last year. 

Slightly more than half of the tech start-ups, or 51.2 per cent, last year offered computer- and information-related services, up from 33.2 per cent in 2004, he added. 

The sector also employs more than 33,000 people, of whom nearly 20,000 worked in the tech services sector.

The granularity of the information gathered will give better insights for better investor, entrepreneurial, research and policymaking decisions, he said. 

Techsg is a work in progress. It showcased the first stage of its work last week, which centred on the developments in the LaunchPad@One-North, where many start-ups are located. For example, there are 258 organisations in Blocks 71, 73 and 79, which make up LaunchPad.

The majority of these start-ups are in media and gaming technology, followed by e-commerce and consumer technology and educational technology.

Grace Chng

• Send news on start-up developments to chngkeg@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2015, with the headline 'Start Singapore: RedMart expands on-demand service'. Print Edition | Subscribe