Singapore-based BEAM, an instant messaging app that connects startups to investors, has raised funds to support its expansion into China and strengthen its presence in Malaysia and Singapore.
While the company declined to comment on the monetary value of the funding secured, BEAM’s spokesperson said in a statement to A+M that the valuation is higher than expected. The spokesperson added that approximately 50% to 60% of the funds will be used for marketing when BEAM expands into China beginning 12 March 2018.
Current COO Wallace Ho will be leading the team in China, which will comprise of three individuals. BEAM will expand the team over the coming months. The company believes China is a great market for business, and is significantly more affordable to acquire users there, advertising-wise. Additionally, the company also believe there is tremendous cross-border opportunities between the countries.
It will work closely with venture capital fund SOSV to acquire users in China, by tapping on existing platforms such as WeChat and Baidu, app store optimisation, media coverage and through SOSV’s user acquisition platform. It also aims to leverage cross-border businesses, bringing SEA-based competitors into China and vice-versa.
BEAM sees WeChat micro-apps with diversified functionality as its closest competitors. As BEAM is an instant messaging platform for business, investments, and careers, it is possible to get all of these services from micro-apps in WeChat, the spokesperson said.
The company looks to expand into Thailand and Japan later this year. While most of its services are targeted at the consumer space, some of its clients include property developers, banks and the Malaysian government.