SG luxury goods platform Reebonz co-founder Daniel Lim departs, angry sellers demand payment

Troubles appear to be mounting at Singaporean luxury online marketplace Reebonz as senior executives depart the firm and customers heap angry complaints online.

The firm’s co-founder and chief branding officer, Daniel Lim, is no longer at the firm as of July 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. Recent LinkedIn updates also show that Reebonz chief financial officer (CFO) Nupur Sadiwala and chief technology officer (CTO) Torres Oey quit the firm in 2020. It is not known if replacements were hired for these positions.

Reebonz customers have also been taking their grievances online in recent weeks, accusing the firm of delayed payments on its official Facebook and Instagram pages.

Source: Reebonz’s Facebook page

Most of the complainants appear to be sellers who had listed their pre-owned branded bags for sale on Reebonz’s White Glove platform.

Source: Reebonz’s Facebook page

Sometime between 9.30 pm and 10.30 pm Singapore time on Tuesday, Reebonz changed its Facebook settings to “filter” these comments out and they no longer appear on the page. Public comments have also been disallowed on Reebonz’s Facebook posts.

Reebonz’s White Glove service is currently on hold, according to a notice on its website. “We will temporarily put a pause on accepting new White Glove Collections,” the notice read.

Source: Reebonz website

Some of Reebonz’s sellers have also raised their grievances with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE). In an email statement to DealStreetAsia, CASE said that it received 33 buyer complaints against Reebonz from 1 January 2019 to 16 August 2021. Of these, 18 or more than half of the complaints were received this year alone.

“In general, consumers complained that the pre-owned luxury bags and jewellery purchased from the platform were counterfeit or not authentic. Some consumers also complained that the products were of poor quality,” said Melvin Yong, president of CASE.

Yong added that an additional 14 complaints were also received by sellers during that period. These sellers complained that they did not receive payment after several months of waiting, even though the agreed payout period was 20 business days. Since the beginning of this year, 8 seller complaints were made, alleging that they were owed more than S$25,000 by Reebonz.

DealStreetAsia has reached out to Reebonz for comment.

Reebonz was previously listed on the Nasdaq for a brief 17 months between 2018 and 2020, before being forced to delist from the US bourse in June 2020 after failing to meet its minimum share price requirement of $1 for more than 30 days.

The firm had entered the public market via a reverse takeover, more popularly known as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) today. It merged with Draper Oakwood Technology Acquisition (DOTA), a Nasdaq-listed entity sponsored by London investment firm Draper Oakwood.

Reebonz is considered to be one of Southeast Asia’s marketplace pioneers, having launched its luxury online platform back in 2009. In its heyday, it was the region’s most valuable luxury e-commerce startup — it was valued at as much as $300 million in 2015. Some of its previous investors include Vertex Ventures, GGV Capital, Intel, and MediaCorp.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.