HappyFresh is closing MY and TH operations, marketing teams in all countries are affected

HappyFresh has closed its operations in Malaysia and Thailand after seven years. Meanwhile, David Lim, SVP, Marketing, is also said to be in discussions about his future role. He joined from Scoot in 2018 where he was VP of Marketing. MARKETING INTERACTIVE understands that several members of the marketing team are affected.

On Facebook, HappyFresh said that due to the current economic situation, it “has no choice but to shut down operations [in Malaysia and Thailand]effective immediately”. It thanked consumers for their support and HappyFresh’s support in providing jobs for over 850 employees during this time.

As for its operations in Indonesia, HappyFresh recently received fresh funding from investors to restart its online grocery stores in the market. According to the company, Indonesia is the largest and most profitable market among the three countries where HappyFresh operates. Indonesian operations resumed with the technology division led by co-founder and CTO Fajar Budiprasetyo.

Since the decision, HappyFresh has also parted ways with its creative agency Imaginary Friends in Malaysia, while talks are still ongoing with its PR partner PRecious Communications. HappyFresh still works with Small People Production for creative assignments in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, just last month the team unveiled a new dancing disembodied legs spot starring up-and-coming Malaysian rap artist Hullera to showcase their new offering HappyFresh Supermarket. In May, it urged Malaysians to share their #FrequencyOfFresh by releasing a Spotify track in which a woman teaches consumers how to tell the freshness of different products by sounds. It also drew inspiration from in-law relationships, releasing a cheeky regional campaign in 2020 called Make In-Laws Happy.

HappyFresh’s work for its loyalty program was also convincing last year MARKETING INTERACTIVE‘s Jury at the Asia eCommerce Awards 2021 and received Gold for Best eCommerce Loyalty Program. It also won Silver for Best Ecommerce Campaign – Influencer and Bronze for Best Ecommerce Campaign – Content Marketing at the awards.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that HappyFresh has suspended its grocery deliveries in certain areas of Jakarta and that some senior employees have suspended their daily duties.

In a company statement, CEO Guillem Segarra, CFO Frederic Verin and COO Christoph Krauss have now returned to their daily tasks. According to HappyFresh, last week’s restructuring resulted in the permanent resignation of three former board members, namely Kai-Kevin Gotthard Kux, Lee Jung An and David Keller.

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

Filippo Candrini, MD of HappyFresh Indonesia said, “This is not an easy achievement and will allow our operations to resume in Indonesia with greater stability in the coming months and years.”

He added that during the past few weeks, while operations were suspended, HappyFresh received numerous comments from customers on various social media platforms, expressing their confidence in our service offering while demanding that the service be resumed as soon as possible becomes.

“Having been part of the business for the past seven years this has given us great motivation to launch a comeback, stronger than ever, to ensure the business operates at a higher level of efficiency while our customers can continue to enjoy their favorite grocery service again,” he added. In the meantime, HappyFresh has not disclosed the monetary value of its new financing. The company was founded in 2014 and to date has raised $97 million through equity and debt financing.

Last July, the company raised $65 million in Series D funding and had planned to double brand awareness across all countries with a hyper-local strategy that resonates with local audiences. Also in February, the company unveiled the HappyFresh supermarket, which expands the accessibility of fresh and dry groceries by significantly expanding its presence in dark shops in the region. Nonetheless, the economic headwinds have been a challenge for food delivery services. In August, Grab closed its dark store operations in Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines to cut costs and streamline delivery operations. It is a supporter of HappyFresh.

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