Grain (company)

Grain is an online food ordering company that offers online catering and food delivery services to the Singapore market through its website and mobile application.

IndustryOnline food ordering
  • Yi Sung Yong
  • Ernest Sim
  • Rifeng Gao
  • Isaac Tan
Area served
Number of employees
WebsiteOfficial website


Grain was jointly founded in 2013 by four co-founders - Yong Yi Sung, Ernest Sim, Gao Rifeng, and Isaac Tan - and initially launched as a personalized meal subscription service.[1]

In May 2014, it was relaunched as an on-demand service that allows customers to order for same-day delivery in Marina Bay. The new on-demand service was designed to better meet customer needs by allowing them to order any number of items between a certain time frame. The order would then be delivered to the customer. As of 2016, delivery is available to any location in Singapore.[2]

Funding and growthEdit

In January 2016, Grain secured an estimated SG$2.45 million (US$1.70million) in a series A funding round led by Openspace Ventures (formerly NSI Ventures). Other initial investors included 500 Startups, Digital Media Partners, and Thai Express founder Ivan Lee.[3]

In December 2016, the company raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series B funding in another round also led by Openspace Ventures. This round included existing investors DMP and Ivan Lee while also gaining the support of Wee Teng Wen of the Lo & Behold Group. At the same time, Grain also raised an undisclosed amount in venture debt from DBS Bank[4] In this same year, the four co-founders of Grain were featured in the 2016 edition of Forbes 30 under 30[5]

In 2017, while planning for its next funding round, Grain stated explained that it had tripled its investment in technology, growing 330 per cent in sales as a result. These decisions improved gross profits by more than 10 per cent.[6] In February 2018, Grain secured another undisclosed sum[7] from investors that included Majuven, a venture capital fund founded by Lee Hsien Yang.

In a Series B funding round led by Thailand's Singha Ventures, Grain raised US$10 million to improve existing infrastructure and expand to other Asian cities, beginning with Bangkok.[8]

According to a study conducted by The Straits Times and Statista, the 2019 funding round and business growth has made Grain fifth among Singapore's fastest-growing companies.[9]

In 2020, Grain got on the list of LinkedIn Top Startups 2020 that reveals 10 young companies that are emerging, or have remained resilient, amid the time of Covid-19.[10]

Hygiene lapseEdit

On 15 May 2017, Grain experienced a lapse in hygiene that caused 20 customers to become affected with gastroenteritis. After an internal investigation, the lapse was found to be caused by a reduction in simmer time for their Thai Green Curry dish, a change which resulted in the dish “spoiling quicker than usual”. The NEA responded by adjusting Grain's food hygiene from “A” to “C”.[11]

Yong Yi Sung, Grain's CEO, released a statement of apology, explaining that when the issue was discovered, the dish was removed to avoid further harm.[11] To rectify the issue, Grain worked closely with the NEA, the Ministry of Health, and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore,[11] and as of August 2019, it has regained the "A" grade for food hygiene.[12]


  1. ^ Liu, Sarah (May 21, 2014). "Time-pressed and hungry? S'pore new food startup Grain brings you a healthy surprise". Vulcan Post. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Lee, Terence (August 15, 2014). "In 15 minutes, Grain delivers piping hot, healthy food to a driveway near you". TechinAsia. Retrieved April 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Lee, Terence (January 14, 2016). "Food delivery startup Grain gets funding from NSI, 500 Startups, DMP, Thai Express founder". Tech in Asia. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  4. ^ Abudheen, Sainul (December 28, 2016). "Grain raises funding from NSI, DBS to expand its food delivery business beyond Singapore". e27. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  5. ^ "Forbes 30 under 30". Forbes. 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  6. ^ Abudheen, Sainul (February 8, 2018). "Singapore's foodtech startup Grain raises pre-Series B funding from Majuven, others after clocking 330 per cent growth". e27. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  7. ^ Lee, Terence (February 8, 2018). "Online restaurant gets money from fund managed by SingPost's ex-chairman". Tech in Asia. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "Singapore food delivery start-up Grain bags US$10m for expansion". Straits Times Singapore. May 10, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "No Pain, No Grain: This S'pore Food Tech Startup Just Raised US$10M, Now Expanding To BKK". MSN. May 10, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "LinkedIn Top Startups 2020: The 10 Singapore startups on the rise".
  11. ^ a b c Lam, Lydia (July 15, 2017). "Grain apologises for spoilt curry that gave 20 people gastroenteritis, its hygiene grade dropped from 'A' to 'C'". Straits Times. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  12. ^ track record last updated 27 aug (PDF) (Report). Singapore Food Agency. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2019.

External linksEdit