Thai startup Beam raises US$2.5m seed funding to enable frictionless, one-click payments across SEA
Beam, a one-click checkout solution enabling frictionless payment for Southeast Asia’s e-commerce and social commerce industry, today announced US$2.5m in seed funding led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s rapid scale-up program, with participation from Partech Partners. The new funds will enable Beam to expand its services in Thailand and across Southeast Asia, increase hiring and grow merchant acquisition.
E-commerce today is fast evolving beyond centralised marketplaces. Social commerce, where shoppers transact with brands via online storefronts, as well as social media and messaging apps like Instagram, TikTok and WhatsApp, accounted for nearly half1 of the region’s e-commerce market in 2021. Yet, there is no one-click solution to payments across all platforms, and the checkout process is fraught with friction.
Beam’s checkout process for an online transaction takes just 20 seconds, which is four times faster than the global average2. Spurred by their deep expertise and experience with shopping online in Thailand, Beam’s founders took a research-based approach to understand each friction point and created a smoother process – one that speeds up time-consuming steps such as filling out forms, entering personal information, and switching to banking apps and wallets to pay – all while managing the payment processing for sellers.
“The online checkout experience should be as easy as tapping a physical card for payment. We want to help brands go direct-to-consumer and cultivate shopper loyalty, by greatly improving the online transaction experience and optimising platform fees. Shoppers should be able to shop wherever they want, and check out with just one click. We believe that these seamless journeys will help drive e-commerce and social commerce maturity among digital users in Southeast Asia even further. With our new partners and funding, we aim to deepen Beam’s market penetration in the region and continuously drive new innovation in payments into the next decade,” said Win Vareekasem, Co-Founder & CEO of Beam.
For sellers and shoppers, the result of Beam’s efficient checkout solution is a better user experience, leading to increased revenue and brand loyalty. With Beam, brands have boosted checkout success rates by up to 30%, and benefit from greater cost savings as they only pay a low transaction fee. There are zero hidden costs from subscription and platform fees often associated with other e-commerce marketplaces.
No tech expertise is needed for brands and sellers, as Beam’s solution launches in minutes instead of days, serving as an instant plug-and-play solution for social commerce and websites. Businesses can easily adopt Beam to complete their checkout process which allows for more payment options including cards, e-wallets, instalments and Buy Now Pay Later.
Beam is part of Surge’s seventh cohort of 15 Southeast Asian and Indian startups adopting bolder approaches to digital innovation. Headquartered in Thailand, it was founded by Nattapat Chaimanowong, Mike Chinakrit Piamchon, and Win Vareekasem.
Originally from San Francisco, Mike, Beam’s Business Development Director, has a decade of experience in retail e-commerce in the United States and Southeast Asia, and holds a degree in psychology and economics. Beam’s Chief Technology Officer, Nattapat, majored in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge and went on to earn a computer science degree from Imperial College London and a master’s in finance from the London School of Economics. He then worked for Arm UK as a software engineer. Win graduated as an aerospace engineer from Bristol and spent five years as a management consultant with Roland Berger in Europe and Southeast Asia.
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