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HappyFresh shuts MY and TH ops, marketing teams across countries impacted

HappyFresh shuts MY and TH ops, marketing teams across countries impacted

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HappyFresh has shut its operations in Malaysia and Thailand after seven years. Meanwhile, David Lim SVP, marketing is also understood to be in discussions about his role moving forward. He joined in 2018 from Scoot where he was VP of marketing. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE understands that several members of the marketing team have been impacted. 

On Facebook, HappyFresh said that due to the current economic situation, it was "left with no choice but to cease operations [in Malaysia and Thailand], effective immediately". It thanked consumers for their support and helping HappyFresh provide jobs for over 850 employees throughout this time.

As for its Indonesia operations, HappyFresh recently secured fresh funds from investors to resume its online grocery operations in the market. According to the company, Indonesia is the largest and most profitable market among the three countries which HappyFresh operates in. Its Indonesia operations resumed with the tech division under the leadership of co-founder and CTO, Fajar Budiprasetyo.

Since the decision, HappyFresh has also parted ways with its creative agency Imaginary Friends in Malaysia, while discussions with its PR partner PRecious Communications are still underway. HappyFresh is still working with Small People Production for creative duties in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, just last month the team unveiled a new spot with dancing disembodied legs featuring rising Malaysian rap artiste, Hullera, to showcase its new offering HappyFresh Supermarket. In May, it called for Malaysians to share their #FrequencyOfFresh by launching a Spotify track where a woman instructs consumers on how to tell the freshness of various produce by sound. It also drew inspiration from relationships between in-laws, releasing a cheeky regional campaign in 2020 titled "Make In-Laws Happy".

Last year, HappyFresh's work for its loyalty programme also impressed MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's judges at the Asia eCommerce Awards 2021, earning it gold for Best eCommerce Loyalty Programme. It also won silver for Best eCommerce Campaign - Influencers and bronze for Best eCommerce Campaign - Content Marketing at the awards.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that HappyFresh halted its grocery deliveries in certain areas of Jakarta and that some senior executives had stopped handling their day-to-day duties. 

In a statement from the company, CEO Guillem Segarra, CFO Frederic Verin and COO Christoph Krauss have since stepped back into their daily duties. According to HappyFresh, the restructuring resulted in the permanent resignation of three former board of directors, namely Kai-Kevin Gotthard Kux, Lee Jung An and David Keller last week.

As part of the restructuring, it will work with venture debt funds Genesis, Innoven, and Mars to ensure the business operations in Indonesia provides a strong path to profitability within 2022. The venture debt funds have also appointed American risk consulting firm Kroll to assist with the restructuring.

Filippo Candrini, MD of HappyFresh Indonesia said: "This is not a simple feat and will empower the resumption of our business operations in Indonesia with greater stability in the coming months and years."

He added that over the past weeks when it paused operations, HappyFresh saw numerous comments from customers across various social media platforms stating their reliance on our service offering while requesting for the service to be resumed as soon as possible.

"Having been part of the company for the past seven years, this gave us a great sense of motivation to make a comeback, stronger than ever to ensure the business is operating at a higher level of efficiency while our customers can continue to enjoy their favourite groceries service again," he added. Meanwhile, HappyFresh did not reveal the monetary value of its new funding. The company was founded in 2014 and it has raised US$97 million via equity funding and debt financing so far.

Last July, it bagged US$65 million in series D funding and had planned to double down on driving brand awareness in all countries using a hyperlocal strategy that speaks to the local target audience. It also unveiled HappyFresh Supermarket in February, extending resh and dry grocery accessibility by significantly growing its dark store presence in the region. Nonetheless, economic headwinds have been a challenge for grocery delivery services. In August, Grab shut its dark store operations in Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines to cut costs and streamline delivery operations. It is a backer of HappyFresh.

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Related articles:
HappyFresh next to reportedly make job cuts
HappyFresh MY's new spot has disembodied legs dancing down aisles
HappyFresh uses the sounds of fresh food to create marketing track on Spotify 
HappyFresh hunts for marketing roles in Southeast Asia 
Interview: 3 must-ask questions for HappyFresh when taking creative risks

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