SINGAPORE: Apart from purchasing and delivering groceries to your doorstep, homegrown start-up honestbee will now be able to pick up your dirty laundry to the cleaners.
The online concierge and delivery service rolled out a specialized laundry service on Tuesday (Sep 13), allowing users to access the new on-demand service via its app. Based on the user’s preferred date for pick-up and delivery, an employee from honestbee will collect the laundry, send it to the cleaners and have it delivered back to one’s doorstep.
Describing laundry as a “household pain point” that can be optimised using technology, co-founder and CEO Joel Sng said the new venture plays a “pivotal role” in engaging the company’s current user base and ties in “nicely” with its existing grocery delivery services.
“With people being increasingly time-starved in today’s society, they often require simpler solutions for their daily tasks. Errands like grocery shopping and laundry, while essential, usually take up a large chunk of time,” he told Channel NewsAsia in a emailed response on Wednesday.
Mr Sng added that the roll-out of the laundry service is a “natural extension” of honestbee’s business.
“It allows us to fully utilise our resources to meet the needs of our customers, and at the same time provide synergistic convenience together with groceries, so life is easier,” he noted.
A REPOSITIONING MAY BE ON THE CARDS: ANALYST
Given that honestbee is already well-equipped with the necessary logistics and manpower for concierge services, the start-up is "well-placed" to venture into other forms of delivery services, said Ms Lim Yu Xian, a Singapore-based research analyst at Euromonitor.
Meanwhile, stiff competition in the online grocery delivery space may have been additional incentive for the company to diversify its business, Ms Lim added. Apart from honestbee, other players include RedMart, Purely Fresh, as well as traditional supermarkets such as Cold Storage.
"Honestbee could be on their way to reposition themselves into a lifestyle service provider as this opens up many other market opportunities and can possibly reduce the fallout should on-demand grocery fail to pick up in Singapore," said the analyst.
At the moment, the start-up is offering two cleaning options. According to its press release, a shirt that requires washing and ironing services under the “Quality Wash” option costs S$5.20, while dry cleaning services are priced at S$6.30. Under the higher-tier “Premium” option, which is billed as being more eco-friendly, a shirt sent for dry cleaning will have a bill of S$8.50. Meanwhile, there will be an additional S$10 delivery fee for orders below S$20.
Replying to a query from Channel NewsAsia, Mr Sng described its pricing as “competitive” and in accordance with industry standards.
For now, the laundry service is only available in Singapore but will soon be made available to other Asian markets that honestbee operates in.
Officially launched in July 2015, the Singapore-headquartered start-up has since expanded across the region, with offices and operations in Hong Kong and Taipei. Honestbee is geared for further expansion, with plans to launch in five other cities including Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur by the end of this year. It currently has 180 full-time employees with 2,300 grocery shoppers and delivery staff.