Online grocer RedMart 'seeking buyer'

Singapore online grocer RedMart, backed by billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, has also raised tens of millions of dollars from various investors including Garena, South-east Asia's biggest tech start-up.
Singapore online grocer RedMart, backed by billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, has also raised tens of millions of dollars from various investors including Garena, South-east Asia's biggest tech start-up.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

RedMart, the Singapore online grocer backed by billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, is seeking a buyer as competition intensifies in the nation, said people with knowledge of the matter yesterday.

RedMart is working with an investment bank on options including a possible sale of the grocer, which delivers products ranging from fresh fruit to frozen dumplings, according to the people.

The company has reached out to potential buyers including supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice to gauge their interest, the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private.

The Singapore company has raised tens of millions of dollars from various investors, including Garena, South-east Asia's biggest tech start-up, and SoftBank Ventures Korea amid an increasingly competitive funding environment in the region.

Indonesian online grocer HappyFresh raised more than US$12 million (S$16 million) last month, while Singapore concierge and delivery firm Honestbee completed a US$15 million funding round last year and formed a delivery partnership with NTUC FairPrice.

RedMart, founded in 2011, would also consider another funding round instead of an outright sale, the people said.

Its US$23 million funding round in 2014 attracted new investors SoftBank and San Francisco-based Visionnaire Ventures, as well as existing backers including Mr Saverin, according to its website.

"RedMart has built a strong team of investors and, in the normal course of business, we continue to engage with potential new investors who can add value as we scale," the company said in an e-mailed statement.

"The business continues to grow rapidly and we have more than doubled our revenue thus far in 2016, while remaining on a clear path to profitability."

A representative for FairPrice said the company receives investment pitches from time to time and is unable to comment on such information or proposals.

Mr Saverin relocated to Singapore in 2009 after leaving Facebook and co-founded B Capital Group Management, an early- stage investor in technology companies.

The Brazilian-born entrepreneur has a net worth of US$7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2016, with the headline 'Online grocer RedMart 'seeking buyer''. Print Edition | Subscribe