Predict your next investment

COMPUTER HARDWARE & SERVICES | Specialty Computer Hardware / Point of Sales & Retail Computer Systems
mobeam.com

See what CB Insights has to offer

Stage

Dead | Dead

Total Raised

$32.18M

About Mobeam

Mobeam provides universal access at point of sale (POS), enabling the transmission of coupons, gift cards, tickets and other barcode data at retailers. Mobeam's technology powers new capabilities for existing mobile phone designs, and requires no changes to retailer POS infrastructure.

Mobeam Headquarter Location

236 West Portal Avenue #454

San Francisco, California, 94127,

United States

415-813-5070

Latest Mobeam News

Restaurant CEO Hates Coupons Welcome! The "Death of Paper Coupons" Will Have to Wait - Coupons in the News

Apr 3, 2017

If you like this article, please consider subscribing so you'll never miss the latest coupon news. For daily digests, just sign up for our email newsletter , or get the latest news right in your feed reader . You can also be notified of news as it happens, by becoming a Facebook fan or following @couponinthenews on Twitter. Thanks for visiting! March 15, 2017 in Coupons In The News — Stop us if you’ve heard this one before – a revolutionary new technology will change couponing forever and make paper coupons completely obsolete! In reality, the road to a paperless future is littered with defunct digital startups that promised to do just that. And now, another company’s dreams of changing the way we use coupons have ended in disappointment. Mobeam is no longer promising to “bring consumers one step closer to phasing out paper coupons entirely,” as it once did. Instead, it has now sold off its technology to Samsung, and has left the coupon industry trying to make something out of the new mobile couponing standard it helped to create. Mobeam launched back in 2010, pitching a complex solution to a problem that most couponers didn’t know exists: Most retail scanners can’t read a bar code off a mobile device. Camera-based scanners, like the ones at Target, can. But most retailers use red laser scanners, which can’t. That’s left us with digital coupons that have to be loaded to loyalty accounts, or linked to your phone number, and can only be used at one specific store. Wouldn’t it be better to be able to scan your phone at the checkout, to redeem mobile versions of paper manufacturer’s coupons, that you can use anywhere you shop? Some have tried . But the actual, legitimate solution turned out to be awfully complicated. Waiting around for every retailer to upgrade to camera-based scanners wasn’t an option. “Good luck getting every last mom and pop store to take on that kind of cost,” Mobeam explained, “much less a chain with 7,000 stores!” So Mobeam reversed the process – instead of displaying a visible bar code on your cell phone screen for a scanner to read, Mobeam would send beams of light in a bar-coded pattern from the phone to the scanner. Turning that concept into reality required a whole lot of infrastructure. And, to paraphrase Mobeam, “good luck getting every last cell phone manufacturer, consumer brand and the entire coupon industry to take on that kind of project.” First, Mobeam struck a deal with Samsung to embed its technology into Samsung cell phones. Then, it got brands like Procter & Gamble and General Mills to test mobile coupons using the new method. And it launched an app called Beep’nGo, to serve as a platform for delivering the new coupons. Finally, in what it hailed as its biggest breakthrough last year , it worked with GS1 US, the administrator of the bar coding system, and the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC), a group of retailer and manufacturer representatives who oversee coupon programs, to create a brand new category of bar codes for mobile devices. That would allow store scanners to differentiate between paper and paperless coupons, in order to ensure proper validation and reimbursement. And with everyone on board – it all kind of fell apart. None of Mobeam’s manufacturer partners came up with concrete plans to offer coupons using the new method. Mobeam couldn’t get past the hurdle that its mobile coupons had to be scanned individually – so if you had a lot of coupons, you would have to scroll through each bar code and swipe your phone for every one. Beep’nGo consisted mostly of store coupons and load-to-card coupons – the very types that Mobeam was looking to replace. And dueling announcements from Mobeam and its new industry collaborators hinted at some tension between them. A month after Mobeam claimed credit for pushing through the new mobile couponing bar code standard, GS1 US and the JICC issued their own news release announcing that they had created the new standard – pointedly failing to mention Mobeam in their statement at all. A few weeks ago, it all ended with a stark notice posted on Mobeam’s website: “We’re announcing that after 7 years of helping our customers and users create true mobile wallet experiences, we will be discontinuing Mobeam’s services… We’re very thankful for having the rewarding experience of sharing Mobeam with the world and are excited about the opportunities ahead.” Any opportunities to make something out of the groundwork that Mobeam had laid, now belong to its former industry partners. “We have agreed to acquire specific assets of Mobeam and plan to leverage the company’s technology to further enhance our mobile payment services,” a Samsung spokesperson said in a statement to Coupons in the News . And now that the new bar code standard is out there, it’s available for anyone to use. So the JICC is working on a set of industry guidelines before anyone starts running amok with mobile coupons that are ripe for abuse. The last thing the industry needs, for example, are mobile bar codes that are easily replicated, abused or counterfeited, as at least one retailer has discovered . So the JICC “will continue to strongly discourage the presentation of coupon barcodes, physically displayed, on a mobile phone,” the group says. Mobeam turned bar codes into beams of light without actually displaying them on the screen. A visible bar code, in contrast, could allow users to get a screen grab, save the coupon, share it, manipulate it, and use it again and again. So “please do not apply the new standard until the standard is fully developed,” the JICC is pleading with anyone looking to pick up where Mobeam left off. Creating mobile coupons that meet industry standards is only part of the challenge, though. A mobile coupon provider would still need to come up with a way to ensure their bar codes can be read by all retail scanners, and improve upon Mobeam’s method of scrolling through them one by one. And then they’d need to get major brands and retailers on board, when many are just fine with paper coupons and load-to-card digital coupons as they currently exist. It’s such a complex challenge, it almost makes you wonder what’s so bad about sticking with the way things are now. “Consumers and marketers continue to express a need and desire for more options,” the JICC says. But with one potential revolutionary haven fallen by the wayside, and the industry and consumers stubbornly clinging to their paper coupons, it appears that predictions of their imminent demise have once again proven to be premature.

Predict your next investment

The CB Insights tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents , partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.

Research containing Mobeam

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Mobeam in 2 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Oct 4, 2021.

Expert Collections containing Mobeam

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Mobeam is included in 5 Expert Collections, including Restaurant Tech.

R

Restaurant Tech

787 items

Hardware and software for restaurant management, bookings, staffing, mobile restaurant payments, inventory management, cloud kitchens, and more. On-demand food delivery services are excluded from this collection.

I

In-Store Retail Tech

1,343 items

Startups aiming to work with retailers to improve brick-and-mortar retail operations.

S

SMB Fintech

1,132 items

U

US-based SMB Fintech Companies

354 items

F

Fintech

26,163 items

US-based companies

Mobeam Patents

Mobeam has filed 12 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • ARM operating systems
  • Barcodes
  • Display devices
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

11/27/2013

12/11/2018

Barcodes, Gene expression, Identifiers, Molecular genetics, Protein biosynthesis

Grant

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Application Date

11/27/2013

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Grant Date

12/11/2018

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

00/00/0000

Title

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Related Topics

Barcodes, Gene expression, Identifiers, Molecular genetics, Protein biosynthesis

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Status

Grant

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

Subscribe to see more

CB Insights uses Cookies

CBI websites generally use certain cookies to enable better interactions with our sites and services. Use of these cookies, which may be stored on your device, permits us to improve and customize your experience. You can read more about your cookie choices at our privacy policy here. By continuing to use this site you are consenting to these choices.