Source: Getty Images

Web Grocer Backed by Facebook Billionaire Said to Seek Buyer

  • Singapore-based RedMart working with bank to explore options
  • Company raised $23 million in Series B funding round in 2014

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

RedMart is working with an investment bank on options including a possible sale of the grocer, which delivers products ranging from fresh dragonfruit to frozen dumplings, according to the people. The company has reached out to potential buyers including Singapore supermarket chain NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd. 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 investors including Garena, Southeast Asia’s biggest tech startup, and SoftBank Ventures Korea amid an increasingly competitive funding environment in the region. Indonesian online grocer HappyFresh raised more than $12 million last month, while Singapore concierge and delivery firm Honestbee Pte completed a $15 million funding round last year and formed a delivery partnership with NTUC Fairprice.

“I’ve always found Singapore an overly small, hyper-competitive market for building a great, disruptive online business,” said Patrick Grove, chief executive officer of Kuala Lumpur-based Catcha Group, which has founded a number of internet companies in Southeast Asia.

Investment Pitches

RedMart, founded in 2011, would also consider another round of funding instead of an outright sale, the people said. Its $23 million funding round in 2014 attracted new investors SoftBank and San Franciso-based Visionnaire Ventures, as well as existing backers including 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.

Saverin relocated to Singapore in 2009 after leaving Facebook and co-founded B Capital Group Management, an investor in technology startups. The Brazilian-born entrepreneur has a net worth of $7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Facebook co-founder invested an undisclosed amount in 99.co, a Singaporean house-hunting service, in 2014. He has also backed rental service Silvercar and Indonesian online bazaar Orami.

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