ACE Startup Feature – Fastbee
Making a Beeline for Success
After eight years in the public sector, Khoo Kar Kiat founded Fastbee.sg to introduce a new food delivery concept to Singaporeans. With a clear vision of what success looks like, Kar Kiat and his team are now fast-tracking their way to success.
Shortly after leaving his eight-year career with the Economic Development Board behind, Khoo Kar Kiat found himself standing outside an MRT station handing out pre-ordered breakfast sets to customers.
That was the earliest iteration of Fastbee.sg, a meal delivery concept that now serves hawker fare to the hungry office crowd at business parks around Singapore.
“It was my first Minimum Viable Product (MVP). After customers placed breakfast orders via my website, I would buy the food from nearby hawker centres and pass it to them on their way to work. Of course, I knew there was a 99% chance it would fail, but I also knew that I would learn a lot in the process,” revealed Kar Kiat.
“Many people have good ideas but they don’t act on it, or they don’t act fast enough. In a way, my brand of entrepreneurship is to test, optimise and reiterate quickly. I believe that innovation is the outcome of a series of failures so it’s alright to fail — just make sure you fail fast and at the lowest possible cost,” he said.
In Kar Kiat’s case, he went on to make changes and adjustments to his preliminary concept, using the customer and market insights that he gained along the way to refine the business model. Just months later, he landed on a winning formula and Fastbee.sg was incorporated in early 2017.
Today, Fastbee.sg feeds a growing customer base in business parks, where food options are limited. Unlike door-to-door delivery players, Fastbee.sg presents a daily menu of hawker options for customers to choose from, and places their orders in purpose-built insulated vending machines located at their office lobbies. The 1.5-hour window between the close of orders at 10.30am and collection from 12pm was carefully calibrated to achieve a triple win — Fastbee.sg is able to keep logistics costs to a minimum with bulk deliveries of up to 50 meals per vehicle; customers are ensured that the food is warm and fresh; and hawkers receive orders during their off-peak, pre-lunch period.
Fastbee.sg now has 10 vending machines in nine business parks, with plans to expand to 100 machines by the end of next year, citing residential estates as a potential growth site. The startup’s plans are ambitious, but Kar Kiat is confident of pulling it off. As a mid-career entrepreneur with some savings, he is digging into his own pockets to finance the startup. He has also received funding from the ACE Startup Grant, incubator NTUitive and an angel investor and actively participates in industry events like ACE’s Digital Transformation Exchange: Foodtech to get feedback and grow Fastbee.sg’s presence.
“The vision I have for Fastbee.sg is not limited to just food delivery. I see us as a logistics business with plenty of room to expand into related areas, like online shopping. My entrepreneurial journey has been, and will continue to be, very challenging but enriching. When I first got started, it was to learn more, and grow more as an individual. Now, my motivation to carry on comes from people: my team, my investors and everyone who has supported my dream,” he said.
Catch up with Fastbee.sg at https://fastbee.sg/.
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