Beam, a Singapore-headquartered micromobility firm that offers shared e-scooters, has raised $26 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its footprint in Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
Sequoia India and Hana Ventures led the two-and-a-half-year-old startup’s Series A financing round, while several more investors from the Asia Pacific region participated, including RTP Global, AppWorks, Right Click, Cherubic and RedBadge Pacific, Beam said. The startup has raised $32.4 million to date, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Beam, like Bounce and Yulu in India, offers electric scooters in the aforementioned five markets. Electric and gasoline scooters have become popular in several Asian nations and elsewhere as people look for alternative transportation mediums to move around faster and at less cost.
While these vehicles make inroads into various markets, it’s also not uncommon to find these scooters abandoned carelessly in the streets. Beam said unlike other startups, it incentivizes its riders through in-app offers to park the scooters at predetermined spots.
“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 chief executive Alan Jiang.
Beam, which did not disclose how many customers it has amassed, will use the fresh capital to grow its operational and engineering focus and grow deeper in its existing markets, it said. It will also “accelerate” to more markets the launch of its third-generation e-scooter, the Beam Saturn, which features swappable batteries and improved build, it said.
Abheek Anand, managing director at Sequoia Capital India, said Beam’s collaboration with regulators, technology and insights into the transportation landscape stand to give it an edge in the Asia Pacific region.
The startup’s fundraising comes at a time when many young firms in Asia, especially those operating in the transportation category, are struggling to raise capital. Beam said it had implemented stringent cleaning and operations practices to limit the possibility of virus transmission to allay riders’ concerns.