Organization Name: Beam, formerly Edquity

Focus Area: Adult Learners
Region: United States
Sector: For Profit
Investment Year: 2019
Formerly known as Edquity, Beam’s flexible cloud-based platform increases equitable and fast delivery of critical public benefits to our most vulnerable populations. Its technology allows governments, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations to administer a wide range of financial assistance programs, from rental relief and public utility benefits to emergency cash assistance, with software that simplifies applications, aids decisioning and processing, facilitates payments, and streamlines compliance, reporting, and case management into a single system. Beam currently provides digital infrastructure for 53 governments, higher education institutions, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations in more than 16 states. Since 2020, Beam has administered over $180 million to 300,000 households.

Why We Invested

Nearly half of the 17 million students enrolled in two-year and four-year postsecondary institutions suffer from housing and food insecurity at any given time, which disproportionately impacts students of color, first-generation students and independent students. This problem is often exasperated for student parents, with about half of the student parent postsecondary population paying nearly $500/month on average for childcare expenses. Beam is shifting how college and universities address basic need insecurities for all students, by offering a tech-based platform where students can efficiently request emergency aid and search for critical resources including mental health, transportation and childcare. Beam partners with governments to create smart and automated digital infrastructure that makes their public benefits programs quicker, more equitable, and more reliable. Beam minimizes applicants’ frustration and gets support in the hands of those who need it most, faster.

With widening wealth gaps and economic conditions only working for a small percentage of the population, there has never been a greater need to bridge generational equity gaps and bring dignity to the American social safety net, After seeing our impact working in the education space to get emergency aid to students, we realized we could apply our technology and learnings to other government programs to get critical services to our most vulnerable populations.
David Helene, CEO, Beam