Beam, Asia-Pacific’s leading micromobility operator, today announced that it has raised a Series A funding round of US$26 million. The round was led by Sequoia India and Hana Ventures and included investors across APAC.
Beam is forging a new path for micromobility in contrast to the established dockless model that allows scooters to be parked anywhere on city streets. For Beam, the future is docked. Having a “virtual docked” model ensures riders park in predetermined parking spots by offering incentives through the Beam mobile app.
“We’re grateful to our incredibly supportive investors who believe in our unique ‘virtual dock’ approach to micromobility and continue to support us through a very uncertain macroeconomic environment. I’m really excited about our new technology and its ability to reduce the problems associated with randomly scattered scooters around a city. This helps us to further improve our industry-leading vehicle retention rates, reduce operational costs, and most importantly, benefits communities by keeping city streets neater” said Beam Co-Founder and CEO Alan Jiang.
As the Beam footprint grows the operational and engineering focus will continue to be on city amenity. To do this Beam will be progressively rolling out features that are focused on keeping Beam e-scooters safe for pedestrians when parked on city streets, which also helps to minimize vehicle losses.
“Beam has to work as hard to limit the downsides of e-scooters for non-riders as they do to enhance the upside for riders. The success of any new technology depends on mass acceptance, and the quicker and better we can ensure e-scooters are used and parked where they should be, the more welcoming city residents will be. We have designed our business and our product around that insight, and it is what makes us different,” Deb Gangopadhyay Co-Founder and CTO added.
“Beam has deep insights into the evolving transportation landscape in their markets. A combination of innovative technology, collaboration with regulators and a razor focus on high safety standards for both riders and pedestrians has given them an edge in the micromobility space across APAC”, said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore.
In addition, Beam will use the fresh capital to support expansion across all markets with a strong focus on growing APAC’s largest mobility fleet in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan.
“Beam’s key members have demonstrated unique operation approaches in dealing with business growth and regulatory hurdles around the APAC region. Simultaneously, the industry has rapidly evolved due to its growing hardware and software infrastructure. We believe the amalgamation of these situations will make Beam the industry leader in micromobility,” said Henry Choi, Director & Head of Global Investment at Hana Ventures.
Beam will continue to make the safety of riders and pedestrians its top priority by enhancing its industry-leading “Beam Safe Academy” initiative; introducing a number of online training tools, and further expanding the only real-world e-scooter rider training program in the APAC region.
Beam will also accelerate the introduction of its new third-generation e-scooter, the Beam Saturn, to all markets. Rigorously tested with the highest safety standards, the Beam Saturn is custom-built for sharing. It features swappable batteries, an innovative aviation-grade aluminium frame, 25-centimeter tubeless safety tyres, high grip rear-wheel drive, and a dual mechanical and electronic braking system.
Beam is the only e-scooter operator from the APAC region to be officially Climate Neutral Certified. Beam worked with Climate Neutral, an independent non-profit organization, to measure its 2019 carbon emissions and offset that entire carbon footprint. To do this, Beam has invested in projects that either prevent carbon from being emitted, like renewable energy or helps to remove carbon from the atmosphere, like planting trees. As part of its commitments, Beam will continue to dramatically reduce its emissions in 2020 and beyond.
In light of the ongoing concern of Covid-19 Beam has implemented stringent cleaning and operations practices to limit the possibility of virus transmission. Shared open-air mobility, like e-scooters, remains a safe affordable transportation option as communities emerge from Covid-19 responses.