Beam Soon to Launch Electric Bike and Scooter Rental Service in Indonesia
Recently secured $93 million in funding led by Affirma Capital, with involvement of Sequoia Capital India, AC Ventures and other investors
Startup developer of micro-mobility services "Beam" announced its plans to enter the Indonesian market. The move comes after the company secured a $93 million series B funding led by Affirma Capital. A number of other venture capitalists took part in this funding, including Sequoia Capital India and AC Ventures.
Besides Indonesia, the expansion will also include several other countries, namely the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, and Turkey. It is known that currently Beam is available in Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan.
The Beam service itself allows users to rent urban mobility services, consisting of two options. First there is the Beam Saturn, which is an electric scooter designed to be easy and safe to drive. Then the second Beam Apollo, which is in the form of a modern electric bicycle. And coming soon Beam Jupiter for e-moped devices.
The startup was founded by Alan Jiang (CEO) and Deb Gangopadhyay (CTO). Alan previously served as Uber Indonesia Country Manager, then became Head of SEA for a service similar to Beam from Beijing, namely Ofo.
Micro mobility services in Indonesia
Previous, GrabWheels had paved in Indonesia present electric scooter services at several points. In its initial presence, Grab partnered with property developers such as Sinar Mas Land for trials in BSD City, as well as universities in Jakarta. However, not long after that the service was stopped due to several cases, including accidents.
According to an urban planning observer who did not want to be identified, there are many challenges to providing micro-mobility services in Indonesia, especially if the target is in open public areas. According to him, such business concepts are more suitable to be placed in special locations, such as housing complexes or tourist attractions -- usually requiring collaboration with local partners such as property developers or the government.
Grab actually already implemented this strategy, but received good acceptance from the market.
By regulation, in Indonesia there is already a Minister of Transportation Regulation Number 45 of 2020 concerning Certain Vehicles Using Electric Motor Drives. This regulation was published in mid-June 2020, shortly after electric scooters Grab introduced.
In a country with good urban planning such as the United States, this micro-mobility service model is getting quite good acceptance from the community. According to McKinsey research In 2019, it is estimated that the micro-mobility industry could be worth around $300-500 billion by 2030. But since the pandemic hit, the use of micro-mobility including electric scooters has fallen by 50%-60%.
In Singapore, service on-demand Electric scooters and bicycles were also popular, until a number of cases occurred and prompted local regulators to impose restrictions. For example, there are penalties for users who park scooters or bicycles in public places irregularly or inappropriately; up to a number of tightened rules associated with mobility devices to reduce the potential for accidents.
Beam admits that it continues to innovate on user safety technology. One of them is by implementing MARS (Micromobility Augmented Riding Safety) which consists of safety innovations to protect pedestrians, regulate zoning and parking spaces, to encourage the use of safer vehicles by users. Innovation in terms of mobility devices also continues to be tightened.
Beam Co-Founder & CEO Alan Jiang said, "micromobility have taken cutting-edge safety systems such as the MARS Beam technology and applied them to small electric vehicles such as e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds to help the city flow better for everyone. We are excited to partner with a visionary fund like Affirma to bring lower cost, greener and safer mobility to cities across APAC."
Regarding the pandemic, Beam believes the demand for micro-mobility services will continue to grow in Asia Pacific. This early is reflected in Beam's revenue which has grown 15 times since the start of the pandemic. Beam is working with local governments in Asia Pacific cities to provide safe and sustainable shared micromobility services when their communities are interested in cleaner and more sustainable ways of traveling.