Beam raises $9.5M for a web browser that makes you smarter

Beam makes web browsing smarter by summarizing searches.

Most people browse the web with one thing in mind. They run a search, skim the results, click on one or two websites, and move on with their day. Unfortunately, a lot of information isn’t retained this way.

A startup called Beam wants to change that. It is developing a web browser that collects and summarizes information as you browse, giving you a quick way to reference it again later. Now, the company has raised $9.5 million in Series A funding, TechCrunch reports. The cash injection will help Beam continue to develop its web browser.

Meanwhile, the startup also announced that it is acquiring an ad-blocker for Safari called RadBlock. It’s unclear exactly how Beam plans to use RadBlock.

Smarter Searching

As TechCrunch’s Romain Dillet notes, Beam is a browser that’s focused on knowledge. It makes it easy for users to retain what they learn from each search—even after they’ve closed out all their tabs.

Each time a user starts a search, Beam creates a new session. Then, a digital note card is dedicated exclusively to that session. As users browse, Beam collects information about the search and its subsequent findings. It then summarizes them on the note card for later reference.

For instance, it stores a list of relevant sites alongside helpful bullet points of information. The search itself serves as the title for the card, making it easy to go back and reference it later.

Users can even edit Beam note cards to fit their liking. It’s possible to add text, remove links, and reorganize the content, TechCrunch reports. This allows users to create a resource that meets their needs in the best way possible.

It’s easy to see how a tool like Beam could be helpful. Imagine discovering a new interest and then starting to search for things about it. After an hour of browsing, you probably won’t remember the majority of what you’ve seen. With Beam, you can always go back later to reference it without having to start from scratch.

Small but Mighty

Currently, Beam is being developed by a team of just seven employees. It is an ambitious project for such a small team. However, the startup’s new funding will allow it to hire additional help. It is specifically looking for natural language processing experts and developers, TechCrunch notes.

Beam also has the benefit of being led by people with experience in the disruptive software space. It is helmed by Dom Leca, who previously worked on Sparrow. Some may remember the iOS email client for its unique design and the fact that it became the Mac App Store’s top-grossing app less than one day after its launch.

Meanwhile, Beam is getting support from several noteworthy companies that could reappear in the future should this Series A round produce positive results. Pace Capital leads the way with participation from Christian Reber, Harry Stebbings, and Albert Wenger. Beam also drew renewed support from previous investors Spark, Amaranthine, C4V, and Alven.

The smart browser will be worth a try for anyone that wants to retain more info from their searches. It will be interesting to see how Beam emerges from beta in the days to come thanks to this new funding.


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