USP alum Jonathan Low (Electrical Engineering + USP, Class of 2013), co-founder of honestbee, and his team have launched habitat by honestbee – a supermarket, restaurant and retail innovation lab all in one – on 16 October. Founded as an online marketplace offering grocery delivery services, habitat marks honestbee’s first foray into brick and mortar.
What makes habitat unique from other supermarkets? It is said to be the world’s first tech-enabled, multi-sensory grocery and dining destination. The 60,000 sq ft retail space in Pasir Panjang has a fully automated check-out system where customers pay using a smartphone app and robots pack their groceries into bags. It has a full supermarket stocked with over 20,000 items, a dining area featuring some 15 food and beverage concepts, and an innovation lab for the development of new retail technology solutions. It also features two retail experiences that are said to be global firsts; AutoCheckout and RoboCollect. Be fascinated and read more about the supermarket here.
In a Channel 8 News interview, Jonathan shared, “We want our employees to focus their time and attention on providing personalised service to our shoppers. We leverage on technology to allow our customer service team to understand our shoppers, e.g. to know if they are first-timers or repeat customers. This way, they can know how best to engage them in, say, introducing and recommending food and other products to them."
Jonathan caught the start-up bug when he spent a year in Silicon Valley under the NUS Overseas Colleges Programme working for a mobile payments start-up. He co-founded honestbee, a Singapore-based start-up, in 2015. Since then, honestbee has expanded across the region and is geared for further expansion.
Congrats on your new business milestone, Jonathan! We are immensely proud of you for leading innovation and having the tenacity to bring it to fruition.