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Rocket Internet’s OfficeFab bites the dust in Southeast Asia, diverts money to India’s OfficeYes

Update (2 July): Funds from OfficeFab will be diverted to the India online store because it recorded the most revenue out of all similar operations run by Rocket Internet.

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OfficeFab, the online office supplies retailer by Rocket Internet, is shutting down, according to sources familiar with the matter.

While the German incubator’s other businesses — Foodpanda, Lazada, and Zalora — have secured hundreds of millions in funding, OfficeFab has quietly vacated its offices in Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia, letting go of its employees in the process.

The website is still live and processing payments for customers and suppliers at the moment. The venture has not announced any external investor support.

According to a staff member who declined to be named, the offices were shut down on 28 June.

“We were all shocked by the news that day… it’s a little painful, but the higher management decided everything so even though we’re doing well with high revenue and margin, we can do nothing anymore if the main office decided to shut it down,” he said, adding that the company’s management has recommended employees for other jobs.

Another executive chimed that working at OfficeFab has been a great experience. ”Despite the loss of the job, the loss of my friends was a lot harder to bear,” he said.

Rocket Internet is known to set high expectations and aggressive targets, so it’s unsurprising that it decides to close a business with a healthy bottom line but weak long-term potential.

Its demise leaves India’s OfficeYes as the sole Rocket Internet venture in Asia focusing on office supplies. According to an OfficeYes employee tracked down by TechinAsia, funds from OfficeFab will be diverted to the India online store because it recorded the most revenue out of all similar operations run by Rocket Internet.

OfficeFab joins Home24 as businesses that have entirely failed to take off for Rocket Internet in the region. Home24 was an online furniture retailer that died a quick death soon after launch.



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