Food delivery firm foodpanda lays off staff in Singapore, retrenchment reportedly affects about 60

In Singapore, foodpanda has about 37 per cent of the market share in the food delivery sector. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Food delivery company foodpanda has reportedly laid off 5 per cent of its 1,200 staff in Singapore in a bid to remain competitive, just months after it launched its regional headquarters in Singapore.

This works out to be about 60 employees.

In response to media queries, the company spokesman said that its German parent company - Delivery Hero - has a clear objective to become Ebitda-positive, which refers to the profitability of a company's core operations.

Hence, the "critical need" to reduce costs and make a profit to remain competitive, he added.

According to annual reports, Delivery Hero's Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) losses swelled to US$888.8 million (S$1.25 billion) in 2021, though the company was at adjusted breakeven point in the second quarter of this year.

In July, foodpanda designated Singapore as its regional headquarters and global tech hub with an office in Robinson Road.

The company did not respond to questions on how many people were retrenched in Singapore, as well as the roles and demographics of those who were affected.

The job cuts were reported on Sept 2 by tech news outlet DealStreetAsia.

According to the report, its sources said foodpanda let go of 5 per cent of its Singapore-based regional team last week. The company also reportedly announced that it will axe 150 staff, or 20 per cent of its headcount, in the Philippines, in addition to job cuts in Thailand.

However, a check by The Straits Times on LinkedIn showed that foodpanda is still hiring for roles in marketing and media, as well as offering internships.

The company said it made the "painful decision to downsize some teams" and that it is supporting employees to help them through this transition, through employee assistance programmes and extended insurance and benefits.

"To our impacted colleagues - we are very sorry we let them down; we will forever be grateful for their contributions and dedication to foodpanda," said its spokesman.

In Singapore, foodpanda has about 37 per cent of the market share in the food delivery sector, and had more than 10,000 delivery workers here on its platform at the start of last year. The other major player, Grab, has more than 50 per cent of the market share.

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