Local food waste startup UglyFood closes as it is 'unable to raise the funds' to continue operations

Its founder said the company is currently "almost a one-man show".

Zi Shan Kow | January 12, 2023, 12:08 PM

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Local social enterprise UglyFood is closing down due to lack of funds.

Founded in 2017, the startup sells fruits and vegetables with imperfections, and excess food products, in a mission to reduce food waste.

Closing down

"It's been a good run," wrote UglyFood on their social media channels on Jan. 4.

The company said that they were "unable to raise the funds required to grow further".

They shared that they have ceased taking orders and will be refunding deliveries from Jan. 4 onwards.

On their Telegram channel, a message posted by founder Augustine Tan read:

"Notes: All response will be slow since it’s almost a one man show at this point.

Might restart the whole thing in future."

Many users that commented on their social media post expressed sadness and disappointment about the closure, with some urging the company to save the business by crowdfunding.

Had 26 employees

Co-founder and general manager Sean Goh wrote on LinkedIn that the shutdown was a decision made "with a heavy heart".

"We weren't able to raise the funds we need to continue operations," he explained.

In the past two years, Goh and Tan saw UglyFood grow from two to 26 employees.

"We hope that we've made impact to the Singapore sustainability scene, and we're deeply saddened that we aren't able to continue our fight to reduce food waste."

Mothership has reached out to UglyFood for comment, but has not received a reply.

Started by university students

UglyFood was started by a group of Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) students, sparked by a project they worked on.

The company expanded to selling juices, ice cream and fruit tea, before focusing on grocery e-commerce in 2021.

Another co-founder, Yeo Pei Shan, left the company in early 2021.

She previously said that she “was not skilful in building a team with the foundation and culture" she had envisioned and departed “with a heavy heart”.

Yeo went on to found Food Warrior, which provides programmes for schools and corporates about food sustainability.

Top images via UglyFood/FB.