Thailand’s Beam simplifies checkout for social commerce • TechCrunch

The social commerce market is already worth more than $13 billion in Southeast Asia, but the checkout process is fraught with friction. Many sellers do not have online storefronts and instead use social media and messaging apps, which means payment is made by switching to banking apps or wallets.

This means low conversion rates, say Beam’s founders. The Thailand-based startup created a one-click checkout solution for social commerce sellers and has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s Surge, with participation from Partech Partners.

Beam was founded in 2019 by Nattapat Chaimanowong, Mike Chinakrit Piamchon, and Win Vareekasem. The trio grew frustrated with the process of repeatedly filling out information for things like memberships, credit cards, and visas and began working on a business idea to streamline form filling, which became Beam.

Beam founders Nattapat Chaimanowong, Mike Chinakrit Piamchon and Win Vareekasem

Beam founders Nattapat Chaimanowong, Mike Chinakrit Piamchon and Win Vareekasem. Image Credits: Beam

Vareekasem told TechCrunch that after creating several MVPs, the team discovered that one of the largest groups dealing with the problem was retailers. “Form filling alone couldn’t solve sales conversions, so payments had to be integrated as well, which ultimately led us to the realization of a much bigger burning problem that we’re looking for.”

Many social commerce vendors request peer-to-peer mobile banking apps, which means they accept payments by sharing account numbers. This can lead to poor conversions due to limited payment options and a lot of work to manage payments.

Beam says that their checkout process takes just 20 seconds. He accepts all the major payment service providers in each market, such as BNPL leaders Atome and Pace, and claims that sellers using his payment solution have increased payment success by up to 30%. Sellers also save money by paying lower transaction fees, since they don’t have to pay the subscription and platform fees that eCommerce marketplaces charge.

Beam monetizes by charging a fixed percentage for each transaction depending on the payment method. For example, it charges 2.95% for credit card transactions. Its typical customer are mid-sized companies that process a few hundred orders a day and sell in the fashion, beauty, home and life, and electronics sectors.

Beam is currently focused on Thailand, with plans to expand into Southeast Asia. While there are other startups focused on removing the friction of social commerce, such as Opaper, Vareekasem said Beam differentiates itself by focusing on end-to-end user checkout experiences for both shoppers and merchants, ensuring that the former can pay with just one click when they shop online.

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