Singapore-based online food and grocery delivery startup, Honestbee owe more tha $1 million to its former employees and delivery people in unpaid wages. The number was confirmed by Honestbee’s CEO, Ong Lay Ann in a court affidavit filed Friday. A total of 217 past employees claim that they have not been paid by the company.
Of the 217 past employees that the company owed unpaid salary, 44 of them have filed claims with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management, as confirmed by the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore.
As things become ugly in the company, Brian Koo, a key investor in Honestbee and the former chairman and interim CEO of the company, quit his position in the startup’s board, the report from Straight Times revealed.
After former CEO Joel Sng resigned from the company earlier this year, Koo took charge as the interim CEO of Honestbee. During Sng’s resignation in May, he told reporters that he is “taking full accountability as CEO for the state of the company. That’s the main reason for stepping down.”
“We have grown very significantly in a little over three years. For a lot of organizations – from structural, process, standpoint – they’re always trying to catch up with the growth of the organization. We’re not dissimilar in that sense. It’s this gap that’s resulting in some of these problems,” Sng added during the time of his resignations.
Recently, it was reported that Honestbee has plans to lay off about 10% of their employees or almost 100 people from their workforce. However, the company denied that it was because of late payments whatsoever.
The financial situation of the startup has also forced the company to pull the plug and suspend operations in Hong Kong and Indonesia, as well as its food delivery service in Thailand. Its operations in Japan and the Philippines were also halted.