Hundreds of cities worldwide are making efforts to solve the transportation crisis amid increasing concerns such as gas emissions, traffic congestion, and others. Consequently, micromobility services are emerging as an effective alternative as more people prefer sustainable commutation.
Despite interruptions caused by COVID-19 related mobility restrictions, the demand for micromobility continues to grow in the Asia Pacific. A startup offering these services in the region is Beam. It provides safe and sustainable micromobility solutions as their communities envision cleaner and environmentally friendly ways to travel.
The Singapore-based micromobility startup Beam just picked up $93 million in a Series B funding round. The investmenrt round was led by private equity firm Affirma Capital alongside participation from Sequoia Capital India (which invested in Moglix and Razorpay among others), Hana Ventures, ICT Capital, EDBI, AC Ventures, RTP Global, and Momentum Venture Capital, among others.
Beam will use the proceeds of this round to bring its shared micromobility vehicles and technologies into new markets such as Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Turkey. Also, the company plans to be the first tri-modal micromobility operator in Asia Pacific by introducing e-mopeds into its vehicle portfolio.
The funds will also be used to further enhance its suite of safety technologies through the deployment of MARS [Micromobility Augmented Riding Safety]. It includes cutting-edge safety innovations that protect pedestrians, enhance Councils’ control of city spaces for zoning and parking, and drive safer usage of vehicles by riders. Beam has always placed safety first in everything we do, and it continues to invest into its technology to make every ride a safe one for the rider and the community.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Alan Jiang stated, “Micromobility has taken cutting edge safety systems such as Beam’s MARS technology and implemented them onto small electric vehicles such as e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds to help cities flow better for everyone. We are extremely excited to partner with a visionary fund such as Affirma Capital to bring lower cost, greener, and safer mobility for cities across APAC.”
Taeyub Kim, Co-Founder and Head of Korea at Affirma Capital, stated: “The micromobility industry is unfolding rapidly in Asia Pacific and Beam is the regional leader in the space. Beam is equipped with highly capable management, technological agility, proven operational capabilities, and a capital-efficient expansion strategy to solidify its leadership. We believe that Affirma Capital’s cross-regional footprint and strong network will fuel the Company’s exponential growth.”
Thuy Dropsey, Managing Director and Co-Head of ASEAN at Affirma Capital, added: “Deb and Alan have demonstrated unique complementary strengths in building a cohesive team to operate across markets with dynamic structures and challenges. We are excited to partner with the Company to increase the velocity of deployment, deepen penetration in existing markets and bring sustainable micromobility access to more Asian cities.”
Beam’s future plans
As part of its next-phase rollout, Beam is in plans to introduce its new 5th generation Beam Saturn e-scooter, which has 12-inch wheels (that are 20% larger than the average e-scooters) alongside hydraulic suspension for the smoothest riding experience.
Beam’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Deb Gangopadhyay said, “We are excited to serve new markets and journeys with our Beam Jupiter e-moped, and to bring our 5th generation Beam Saturn e-scooter to cities with MARS technology that will provide significant advancements in safety, city zoning control, rider behavior management, and sustainability.”
Growth amidst pandemic
Beam’s growth topline revenue by 15x during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beam works with local governments in cities across Asia Pacific to provide safe and sustainable shared micromobility as their communities become interested in cleaner and more sustainable ways to travel.
For now, Beam, co-founded by Alan Jiang and Deb Gangopadhyay in 2018, is Asia Pacific’s largest and fastest-growing micromobility operator. It operates a fleet of e-scooters and e-bikes in 35 cities across Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand