Beam Announces $6.4M Series A to Create the Next Generation of the Social Safety Net

After administering over $180M in financial assistance, Beam, formerly known as Edquity, is rebranding and expanding to serve government, philanthropy, and community partners with automated infrastructure in a single platform
Date
November 17, 2022

Brooklyn, NY - Beam – the end-to-end platform that streamlines equitable public benefit administration, formerly known as Edquity – today announced its $6.4 million Series A led by Potencia Ventures, with participation from Spring Point Partners, American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, Imaginable Futures, Lumina Impact Ventures, Michelson Runway, and Schmidt Futures. Beam’s platform helps governments administer a wide range of programs, from rental relief and public utility benefits to emergency cash assistance, with software that streamlines applications, aids decisioning and processing, facilitates payments, and streamlines compliance, reporting, and case management in a single system. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Beam has administered over $180 million to roughly 300,000 households across the United States.

“With widening wealth gaps and economic conditions only working for a small percentage of the population, there has never been a greater need to bridge generational equity gaps and bring dignity to the American social safety net,” said David Helene, CEO and founder of Beam. “After seeing our impact working in the education space to get emergency aid to students, we realized we could apply our technology and learnings to other government programs to get critical services to our most vulnerable populations. We’re looking forward to deepening our partnerships with local agencies and communities across the country to create the next generation of these programs that are the difference in keeping many people safely housed and with food on the table.”

  

Between record inflation and interest rates, a looming recession, and many COVID-19 emergency programs drying up, 77 percent of Americans report feeling anxious about their financial situation, while over 55 percent worry about keeping up with the rising cost of living. Yet, year after year, tens of billions of dollars in government aid go unused because people are not aware of these resources and the process to receive aid is complex and difficult.

Beam partners with governments to create smart and automated digital infrastructure that makes their public benefits programs quicker, more equitable, and more reliable. As worker shortages plague government crisis response and public trust hovers near record lows, Beam minimizes applicants’ frustration and gets support in the hands of those who need it most, faster. On average, it takes less than seven minutes to complete Beam’s application for financial assistance, and applicants are paid within 24 hours after completion. 

“We could not be more proud to partner with Beam on their mission to reimagine the social safety net – a prime example of the transformational solutions we seek to fund as part of our goal to advance economic justice,” said Margot Kane, Chief Investment Officer at Spring Point Partners. “In just a few years, Beam has already made an impact that would be impressive for a more established company. We are excited about the benefits that their technology and insights from the education industry will now bring to government programs and partners of all kinds, and their work to help improve the lives of millions of Americans in need.” 

Additionally, Beam’s all-in-one flexible platform:

  • Conducts data-driven outreach and prioritization with subject matter experts to ensure funds reach the most vulnerable populations. 
  • Provides real-time reports that enable partners to quickly gauge program performance, investigate and understand specific cases, and create custom impact reports and visualizations. 
  • Offers features built to serve compliance required by both governments and philanthropies. By having case management and payments in the same system, all applicant actions are time stamped and reconciled, meaning no fragmentation in the case ID or number for reporting purposes. 
  • Supports a wide range of payment methods, such as direct payments to applicants and third-party vendors, recurring payments, and more. 
  • Solves for the absence of transparency in traditional financial assistance applications by allowing applicants to review the status of their application and see exactly where in the review process their application stands.

"Beam is one of the most exciting companies we've brought into our most recent cohort,” said Anthony Jamison, CEO of CivStart, a govtech accelerator that selected Beam for its 2022 cohort. “They are a govtech company with an impressive team, a social mission to support the most vulnerable members of our community, and a proven solution that we aim to help scale to cities, counties, and states across the United States." 

Founded in 2016 as Edquity to help colleges and universities optimize how they support basic student needs, Beam’s rebrand symbolizes the company’s shift from working specifically with education institutions to working with benefit programs across governments and communities more broadly to get timely support to those who need it most. Beam now provides digital infrastructure for 53 governments, higher education institutions, nonprofits, and philanthropic partners across 16 states and the District of Columbia.

The new funding will primarily go toward expanding Beam’s growing list of government partners and building out its technology team to develop innovative tools that help local agencies get critical resources to communities quickly and equitably. 

To learn more, please visit ByBeam homepage. To elements to be used for press, please access Beam’s media kit here

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About Beam

Beam’s flexible cloud-based platform increases equitable and fast delivery of critical public benefits to our most vulnerable populations. Its technology allows governments, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations to administer a wide range of financial assistance programs, from rental relief and public utility benefits to emergency cash assistance, with software that simplifies applications, aids decisioning and processing, facilitates payments, and streamlines compliance, reporting, and case management into a single system. 

Beam currently provides digital infrastructure for 53 governments, higher education institutions, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations in more than 16 states. Since 2020, Beam has administered over $180 million to 300,000 households. To learn more, visit https://www.bybeam.co/.

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