CEO Series

This Startup's Recent Funding Could Be A Bridge For M'sian Businesses To Enter China

  • BEAM have just announced their latest success in acquiring funding in a round that included SOSV—the operators of Chinaccelerator.
  • They hope to use this new round of funding to expand their operations into China. In doing so, BEAM hopes to help bridge the Chinese startup ecosystem with the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • They also plan to utilise these new funds to strengthen their existing operations.

Yesterday, business connector platform BEAM announced their success in acquiring funding in a round led by SOSV, with Artesian, and a number of angel investors following suit.

While they declined to disclose the full amount, BEAM chief operating officer Kenneth Ho mentioned that it was “at a valuation higher than we expected”.

SOSV is an accelerator-focused tech venture capital firm that has so far funded over 500 startups, and currently invests in 150 startups a year.

With their internal rate of return putting them in the top 10% of all venture funds worldwide, they are also known for running the Chinaccelerator, HAX, Food-X, MOX, and Indie-Bio accelerator programs.

The other investment group involved is Artesian, a global alternative investment management firm that was spun out of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) in 2004. They currently operate Australia’s largest venture seed fund with over US$250 million in assets under their wing.

BEAM’s latest success in receiving funding will now enable them to expand their operations into China and provide services to help bridge the Chinese scene to the rest of Asia, fostering better business and investor relationships as well as increasing career opportunities through the support of SOSV.

“What we hope to do in the long term is provide a bridging platform for Southeast Asian companies to enter China, and vice versa,” said Kenneth.

Among some of the initiatives BEAM hopes to undertake in regards to entering China include:

  • Providing soft landing to companies trying to get into the Chinese market and help them build partnerships with other players.
  • To educate companies with insights on how to more effectively enter the Chinese market, as well as help them understand the Chinese startup ecosystem.
  • To bridge the gap between investors, startups, companies, and talents in China.

“We have much more planned, and we hope to reveal them as time progresses,” he added.

Additionally, the new funds will also allow BEAM to strengthen its existing operations in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Singapore, and East Malaysia, with its connector platform currently carrying out conventions, networking events, and retreats in a number of Asian countries.

Speaking on future expansions, Kenneth shared plans for BEAM to grow its number of users and expand its presence in even more external markets.

“We hope to grow our user base to a million users by the end of 2018,” he said. “We expect most of the growth to take place in Chinese markets.”

“Additionally, we also have a presence in Taiwan and Japan, and we hope to double down on those two markets towards the end of the year.”

“We’re definitely also very interested in both the Thailand and Indonesian markets as well, as the startup ecosystem in both those countries are booming.”

Finally, when asked about his expectations for the Asian startup scene in 2018, Kenneth stated his optimism about the growth of its startup ecosystem, and singled out Southeast Asia and China as particularly strong growers.

“We see these two markets as the ‘next billion’ people who will be exposed to the internet, mobile, and many new services that improve the quality of life,” he said. “We definitely see lots of growth especially in infrastructure and lifestyle services across Southeast Asia.”

“We think AI, VR, and robotics is still in its infancy in the SEA region, and we could definitely learn plenty from China.”

Previous BEAM investors include TBV Capital (formerly known as Tink Big Venture), Amperor Group, and other angel investors.

  • Head on over to the BEAM website to find out more about their startup connector platform and future events.

Feature Image Credit: BEAM

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