Singapore’s shared e-scooter startup Beam raises $26m in Series A

Photo: Beam

Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micro-mobility startup that operates shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a Series A funding round co-anchored by Sequoia Capital India and Hana Ventures.

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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.