Aiming to be the Reddit of audio, Berlin’s Beams beams up $6 million in seed round

Berlin-based short form audio platform Beams has secured a total of $6 million in seed funding. The social audio service provides a platform for users to share opinions on just about any topic via up to 90-second voice recordings. The first portion of the seed round was announced back in July of this year, with another $3 million added as of today.

Founded during the pandemic, and presumably spurred on by the meteoric rise of Clubhouse and subsequently Twitter Spaces, Spotify’s Greenroom, etc., Beams leadership team consists of former Soundcloud, Spotify, and N26 employees, a number of whom have collaborated previously. Notably, team members worked on an installation for artist JR, where more than 3,000 voices documented persona stories and was presented at San Francisco’s MoMA, New York’s Brooklyn Museum, and a TIME cover story.

While the soup-du-jour is live audio, a format some might feel not-quite-comfortable with, Beams heads in the opposite direction, rather, letting users record their thoughts and then drop them into the conversation. Groups within the app can either be open to the public or kept private, available only to other selected users added to the conversation. And in an effort to keep conversations and thoughts authentic, the platform operates on a zero “likes” policy, thus removing the popularity contest factor.

“Today, when divisive content easily goes viral on social media, many people are longing for places that embrace sharing and listening to diverse voices and views.” explains co-founder and co-CEO Alan Sternberg. “We designed Beams to make it easier to create and participate in real conversations through a collaborative short audio format. Listening to real people, through real voices, helps all of us better understand what is unfolding around us in society.”

Beam’s additional $3 million in seed funding arrives via lead investor TheVentureCity, and saw participation from Allbirds and Warby Parker early-stage investor Kal Vepuri, Elan Lee, co-founder of Exploding Kittens, and existing investors Mangrove Capital, Redalpine, and Wavemaker.

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