SINGAPORE — On the back of global retrenchments and a looming recession, local startup ShopBack is still going full speed ahead and is looking to fill over 200 positions across its 10 markets.
The shopping and rewards app revealed the numbers on Friday (1 July) during the official launch of its new headquarters at Pasir Panjang Road – its latest milestone in a string of developments.
Just last week, ShopBack, which is backed by Temasek Holdings, announced that it received US$80 million in a funding round led by regional investment firm Asia Partners. It also recently launched payment feature ShopBack Pay, signalling its foray into financial services, in addition to its acquisition of "buy now, pay later" player hoolah late last year.
ShopBack currently has 200 vacancies across all its 10 markets, on the back of the 300 positions it has already filled since the start of this year. The new roles are in payments, compliance and engineering.
Last year, ShopBack gave out a total of US$70 million cashback across the region, with Singapore users receiving US$15 million of this figure, according to ShopBack’s country general manager Fern Nannaphat.
Speaking to Yahoo Finance Singapore on the sidelines of the launch event, Nannaphat said the company's concept – whereby merchant partners pay ShopBack a commission when a successful sale is made, and the company in turn share the commission with shoppers by giving them back a small percentage of their purchases – works in the company's favour against a possible recession.
"I think ShopBack as a company, we have always been prudent on how we spend," she said.
"I think it's really good for the merchant because they can justify their return on investment on the conversion. So, it will be more efficient for the merchant to invest in ShopBack, because we only get commission from the merchant after we bring on the sales and revenues.
"For the customers, I feel like especially when a recession is coming... ShopBack as an app can help the customer shop and save smarter."
Asked how ShopBack will retain its employees in the current climate where many others are retrenching instead, Nannaphat said, "We always look at profitability. And actually, nothing has changed much for us. We've always been watching how we spend and where we spend and where is the efficiency. So, we're just continuing to do this."
Tour of CAMPUS by ShopBack
During the event, the media was given a tour of ShopBack's new building at 65 Pasir Panjang Road. The CAMPUS by ShopBack, is a refurbished three-storey building leased from the Singapore Land Authority.
Currently housing over 220 Singapore employees, the building sits over a plot size of around 88,000 sq ft and can fit up to 250 staff.
Part of the ground floor is occupied by Third Space, a content creator studio, while the rest comprises three storeys of office space measuring about 28,000 sq ft. The building also has a pantry, meeting rooms, and an airy amphitheatre for company events at the main entrance.
Opening the event was co-founder Henry Chan, who said that the new campus will serve as the regional hub for data science innovation and FinTech endeavours. The shift to the headquarters is the company's sixth since it started in 2014 with a team of six staff. ShopBack now has 900 employees globally and serves over 30 million shoppers, and 10,000 online and in-store merchants, across 10 markets.
Also gracing the event was Senior Minister of State for National Development and Communications and Information Tan Kiat How, who noted that ShopBack was one of the many success stories in Singapore.
"Last year, Singapore saw nine start-ups mature into unicorns. With this, Singapore has the largest share of unicorns in Southeast Asia with two out of five unicorns based here. This reflects the growth of our digital ecosystem and of Singapore’s capacity to support start-ups with the resources and talents necessary to thrive and mature into unicorns," he said.
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