Singapore-based financial services and data platform GoBear announced today (Jan. 5) that it will cease operations and begin a “proper business closure”.
The company cited failure to raise additional funds from existing or new investors as the main reason for the closure.
The COVID-19 pandemic made the operating and donation environment "very challenging".
Other factors included a prolonged period of weaker demand for some financial products and services, particularly travel insurance.
However, Adrian Chng, GoBear's CEO, previously said that while the pandemic had resulted in declining interest in travel insurance, GoBear continued to see growth in insurance and other credit products.
According to the company, it is expected that the current financial resources will be sufficient to meet existing obligations to customers, employees, suppliers and partners.
The store closure will be gradual and controlled over a short period of time and in compliance with local laws and regulations in the markets in which GoBear operates.
It currently operates in seven markets: Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
165 employees are laid off as a result
GoBear also has 165 employees in six offices across Asia. Last September, 22 employees in the region were laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was ensured that all employees receive the necessary notice periods and salaries.
“GoBear made the difficult decision to close the store. Our goal was to improve the financial health of people across Asia and I am proud and grateful for the contributions that all of our employees and partners have made to this mission, ”said Chng.
“This is a difficult time for our people and our priority is to carry out the process with the utmost care and guidance for our people. We take our responsibility to our customers, employees, partners and suppliers very seriously and intend to fulfill our existing obligations to them as part of a proper business transaction process. "
This news of the shutdown is definitely a shock as GoBear was recently lauded as one of the up and coming startups in Singapore, according to LinkedIn.
At the height of the pandemic, existing investors raised $ 17 million in May, bringing total funding to $ 97 million.
GoBear said at the time that the new funds will be used to expand its consumer financial services platform in Southeast Asia. Partnerships with companies like Union Bank, Mambu and CredoLab have even been developed to focus on credit services in Asia.
The startup was first launched in 2015 as a meta search engine and has developed into a financial services and data platform that offers consumers a one-stop shop to search for and buy the product they need.
Selected image source: GoBear