A Paris-based team has a dream for Beam: to turn it into a new, unique way to browse the Web and collect and store knowledge along the way.
It's difficult to describe what the young company is setting out to build (its desktop app is still in private beta), but it's certainly got founders with a track record, and a noteworthy list of investors.
Beam is today revealing a €3 million seed round with investors such as Spark Capital (known for its early investments in the likes of Twitter and Tumblr), C4 Ventures (led by former Apple EMEA VP Pascal Cagni), Amaranthine (the 'Web Summit fund'), Alven Capital (investors in Stripe, Algolia etc.), Tiny Capital (founded by Andrew Wilkinson from Metalab - which helped create designs for Slack, Uber and Vice), and a couple of angel investors such as Antoine Martin (Zenly), Nicolas Steegman (Stupeflix) and others.
The startup was founded by a duo of French entrepreneurs: Sebastien Métrot, after 6 years of working for Apple as a senior software engineer, and Dom Leca, who previously founded email software company Sparrow and sold it to Google back in 2012.
As for what Beam is and will look like, I'm afraid you'll have to wait - probably until a few months into next year. For now, the founders are using rather vague terms to describe the venture; here's a taste of that from the white (actually, 'bright') paper:
"We believe in tools, and the people who use them. We believe in tools that foster autonomy, encourage inquisitiveness, strengthen personal agency, increase efficiency while acknowledging human pace and drive critical inquiry. We believe knowledge is the essential human project.
We’re building beam because we think something is fundamentally broken in the way the tools at our disposal have us use the web and thus, our minds."
Romain Dillet from TechCrunch took a stab at explaining it here.
I also spoke to Dom on the phone last week, and got a taste of the prototype, which looked to me like a cross between a vertical search engine, a tool like Roam Research ( which he's actually invested in), and a sparse version of Evernote. It's interesting, but very early days.
To be(am) continued.