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Beam scores US$26M from Sequoia, other VCs to scale its e-scooter rentals biz

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Beam, an e-scooter rentals startup based in Singapore, has raised US$26 million in Series A funding round led by Sequoia India and Hana Ventures, with participation from several unnamed investors across APAC.

The funds will be used to expand its vehicle fleet across all markets with a strong focus on South Korea, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Taiwan.

The company will also aim to accelerate the introduction of its new ride-sharing e-scooter, called Beam Saturn, which features swappable batteries, 25-centimetre tubeless safety tyres, high grip rear-wheel drive, and a dual mechanical and electronic braking system.

Launched in 2018, Beam is a micro-mobility startup that encourages users to park their e-scooters in pre-determined parking spots via its app by offering incentives, instead of parking it anywhere randomly on the street.

Beam claims it is the only e-scooter operator in the APAC region to be officially Climate Neutral Certified, a label given to companies that reduce their scope 1 and 2 carbon footprints.

The startup further aims to continue reducing its emissions in 2020 and beyond.

It has plans to roll out new features to keep its e-scooters safe for pedestrians when parked on streets and to help cut vehicle losses, it said.

“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 improve our industry-leading vehicle retention rates further, reduce operational costs, and most importantly, benefits communities by keeping city streets neater,” said Beam Co-founder Alan Jiang.

There has been a lot of focus on cleaner and more efficient mobility solutions across the world, post- COVID-19. Indian ride-hailing giant Ola is one such company, which recently unveiled its plans to launch a premium two-wheeler electric vehicle in 2021.

The article was first published on e27, on Jun. 1, 2020