Former ofo exec to launch new e-scooter sharing service in Singapore

Former ofo exec to launch new e-scooter sharing service in Singapore

Beam scooter
Beam said it will invest heavily in building core infrastructure for its platform, including initial e-scooter purchases. (Photo: Beam)

SINGAPORE: A former executive of bike-sharing company ofo will launch an e-scooter sharing service in Singapore after raising US$6.4 million (S$9 million) in seed funding.

Mr Alan Jiang, former Asia-Pacific chief of ofo, co-founded Singapore-based mobility start-up Beam and is now its CEO.

In a media release on Tuesday (Oct 23), the start-up said it plans to invest heavily in building core infrastructure for its shared mobility platform, including initial e-scooter purchases.

It will also focus on the development of its mobile app and growing the team for its "imminent rollout".

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Beam will be able to apply for an operating licence only in January 2019. 

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Wednesday that licence application exercises are conducted twice a year, and the next one for personal mobility devices (PMD) will open in January 2019. 

"As with other operators interested in offering PMD-sharing services, LTA has invited Beam for an engagement session to share their plans," said the authority in response to media queries.

Bloomberg had earlier reported that Beam plans to roll out its service in Singapore in the coming weeks before launching it in Malaysia, Australia and South Korea.

Mr Jiang is also the former country manager of Uber in Indonesia, and was part of the team that launched Uber in Asia.

“We want to change the fundamental way that people move around Asian cities. Our goal with Beam is to create a shared mobility platform focused on providing real transportation options,” he said in the media release.

Customers will pay S$1 to use the e-scooters, with a subsequent S$0.15 charge per minute. No deposit will be required, the Bloomberg report said.

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Beam added that it is committed to distributing and maintaining their fleet of vehicles responsibly, storing customer data securely and working collaboratively with governments to build and improve transportation infrastructure.

The seed funding round was led by Sequoia India, Founders Fund, ZhenFund and Class 5 Global. Other backers include Arbor, Insignia, 500 Startups, Gobi, K2 Global, Pascal Capital, Maloekoe Ventures and Cherubic Ventures.

Source: CNA/zl(cy)