Digital forwarder Beacon expands in Asia

By Damian Brett

Fraser Robinson, Beacon

Forwarder and finance provider Beacon has doubled the size of its team and expanded its presence into Asia by opening a new office in Hong Kong.

Since March, Beacon’s headcount has increased from 35 to 75 while the new office in Asia.

“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,” it said.

“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.”

Beacon co-founder and chief executive 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.”

Robinson added that 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,” he added.

Beacon also pointed out that 40% of its team identify as women and the company vowed to “continue to prioritise diversity and inclusion in all forms as we scale”.

In June, Beacon announced that it had raised over $15m in its Series A fundraising round, with investors including Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, and leading US venture capital firm 8VC.

Since its launch, Beacon has certainly grabbed the headlines, with high profile investors, a press release announcing its launch inadvertently caused UK forwarder group BIFA issue a response in defence of its members and had a lawsuit brought against it in the US.

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