Singapore-based micro-mobility startup Beam has raised US$93 million in funding in its Series B round to fuel its growth into new countries in Asia.
The funding round was led by Affirma Capital along with participation from Hana Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, EDB Investment, ICT Capital, RTP Global, AC Ventures and Momentum Venture Capital.
Beam which currently operates e-bikes and e-scooters in 35 cities across Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia, aims to expand into markets like Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
The mobility startup will also be using the fresh funding to spur its deployment of a new 5th generation Beam Saturn e-scooter, which Beam intends to start rolling out in the second half of 2022. The next generation scooter will come with an updated version of dubbed Micro-mobility Augmented Safety (MARS), Beam’s safety platform that helps protect pedestrians and enhance local government’s control over where e-vehicles can ride or park.
According to Deb Gangopadhyay, Chief Technology Officer of Beam said, “Existing technologies within the platform include dead reckoning and on-edge geofencing, but the 5the generation Saturn will have a feature called Beam Pedestrian Shield, an onboard AI camera that can instantly and accurately detect pedestrians to prevent collisions and detect footpaths to automatically reduce vehicle speed or even prevent riding completely.”
As per the company, its on-board camera with computer vision will be rolling out in the third quarter of 2022. Beam would be initially piloting the onboard camera technology, which is developed in collaboration with its R&D partner (the company has not disclosed the name) and expects to scale up.
Besides the new technology, Beam claims that the Saturn will also feature 12-inch wheels that are 20 percent larger than the average e-scooter wheels combined with hydraulic suspension. The company also plans to add e-moped Beam Pluto to its portfolio in the second half of 2022 and expects e-mopeds to comprise up to 1/3rd of its fleet over the next two years.
Founded in 2018 by Alan Jiang and Deb Gangopadhyay, Beam is a micro-mobility firm that encourages users to park their e-scooters in pre-determined parking spots through its app by offering incentives, instead of parking it anywhere randomly on the street.
Despite mobility restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Beam’s revenue has seen 15x growth since 2020.