The fresh funding will support Beam’s expansion in its existing markets of South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. The startup said it plans to expand to new cities soon.
Beam was founded by Alan Jiang, the former Asia Pacific CEO of Chinese bike-sharing unicorn Ofo who also played a key role in launching Uber across Asia, including in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
E-scooters have become a popular option in Singapore, where it is expensive to own a car. However, the government in November banned e-scooters from footpaths following a string of injuries involving drivers and pedestrians.
In its statement, Beam said it will be progressively rolling out features to keep its e-scooters safe for pedestrians when parked on city streets. It also plans to address the menace of carelessly strewn around bikes by providing incentives for parking in predetermined spots.
The startup implements a “virtual docked” model that it said will ensure riders park in spots predetermined through the Beam mobile app.
“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,” said Beam co-founder and CTO Deb Gangopadhyay.
Among others, the startup is enhancing its “Beam Safety Academy” initiative, where it introduces online training tools to further expand the e-scooter rider training program in the Asia Pacific region.
In terms of technology, Beam is introducing its new third-generation e-scooter, called the Beam Saturn, which is custom-built for sharing, with swappable batteries, aviation-grade aluminium frame, 25-centimeter tubeless safety tyres, high grip rear-wheel drive, and dual mechanical and electronic braking system.
Commenting on the investment, Abheek Anand, managing director at Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore, said Beam has deep insights into the evolving transportation landscape in markets where it operates.
“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,” he added.
In 2018, Beam bagged $6.4 million in seed funding from Sequoia Capital India, Founders Fund, ZhenFund, and Class 5 Global, with participation from Arbor Ventures, Insignia Ventures Partners, 500 Startups, Gobi Partners, K2 Global, Pascal Capital, Maloekoe Ventures, and Cherubic Ventures.