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Honestbee lays off most of its staff as it struggles to secure funding

Singaporean delivery firm Honestbee has laid off around 80 per cent of its staff as it searches for funding to remain trading.

According to DealStreetAsia, the startup has dropped around 100 employees – including both local and foreign staff – and salaries will be delayed until further funding can be secured. 

Its futuristic grocery store business Habitat has been closed for a full month and will reportedly shift to smaller premises. 

“Due to several external commercial pressures that have resulted in the protracted closure of Habitat by Honestbee, the company has made the strategic decision to reduce its staff force,” read a statement from the firm. “As a result, the company has decided to reduce its non-core staff as it does not foresee operating Habitat in its full strength over the next few weeks.”

The firm had been anticipating a cash injection of around $50 million from an unidentified retail conglomerate, although that deal has failed to materialise following the advent of the coronavirus epidemic. 

Honestbee is currently moving to restructure itself out of a debt of about $230 million, including salaries to more than 200 former staff members. It is currently trading under court protection from its creditors. 

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