London-based Beacon, the next generation freight forwarding and supply chain finance company, has continued its rapid growth trajectory by doubling the size of its team, increasing its customer base and expanding its physical presence into Asia by opening a new office in Hong Kong.
Since March, Beacon’s headcount has increased from 35 to 75, while also achieving a ratio of 40% women employees, in line with the company’s key objective of fostering gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. With business performance up by 300% in the last quarter alone, opening an office in Asia is the logical next step for the company to support this growing customer base and global footprint. James Yu, previously Logistics Program Manager at Uber in Hong Kong, has been appointed as Ocean Procurement Lead, HK, based in the new Hong Kong office.
Asia-Europe is Beacon’s biggest trade lane and so establishing a physical presence in Hong Kong is an important strategic development for the company. An ever-growing number of Beacon’s customers have supply partners in China and elsewhere in Asia, and having a presence in the same time zone enables the company to offer superior customer service and better connectivity between importers and exporters. The insights gained from having a local presence also means Beacon can continue to develop its technology for the benefit of both customers and their manufacturers.
Commenting on Beacon’s expansion into Asia, Beacon co-founder and CEO Fraser Robinson said:
“It has been an extremely busy year for Beacon; we have more than doubled the size of our team and our customer numbers have also grown significantly. As the world’s leading manufacturing hub, Asia is central to our expansion strategy and we are pleased to have opened an office here and made our first hire. A large proportion of our cargo volumes originate in Asia and it is important to us that we have a local presence to provide better service to our customers and their partners in China and the surrounding areas. Proximity to both importer and exporter means better communication, a more real-time customer experience, as well as deeper insights that enhance our platform. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the need for more sophisticated technology solutions in order to establish more transparent and resilient global supply chains. The opportunity is clear and we will continue to invest in growing our team’s global footprint. Diverse teams make better strategic decisions and it is important to us that our team represents the global and diverse nature of the customers we serve. We are proud that 40% of our team identify as women and we will continue to prioritise diversity and inclusion in all forms as we scale.”
Beacon has a mission to become a global leader in logistics and supply chain finance by making trade simpler, more transparent and more reliable for businesses. It offers a full range of services, including global ocean, air and truck freight, together with supply chain finance, all of which can be accessed and managed on a single platform. The company uses best-in-class AI, search, optimisation, data science, cloud and automation technologies to unlock significant operational efficiencies. The platform combines a real-time view of the global delivery of cargo and a marketplace view of global shipping costs and prices, all powered by machine learning that optimises shipping routes and processes for improved cost, speed and predictability.
In June, Beacon announced that it had raised over $15 million in its Series A fundraising round, with investors including Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, and leading US venture capital firm 8VC.
Sea News, November 18