Singapore’s GNum raises US$5.6 million in seed funding
By Digital News Asia October 20, 2014
- Funding to acquire related technologies and for working capital
- Tech permits calls from PCs, mobile devices without need for prior software or app downloads
SINGAPORE-based GNum Pte Ltd, has successfully raised S$7 million (US$5.6 million) in seed funding from local private equity firm, Tembusu Partners.
Tembusu Partners – which manages close to S$300 million (US$240 million) and touts a strong track record investing in high growth enterprises across Asia – is investing in GNum out of its Tembusu Growth Fund II
Commenting on the investment, Chik Wai Chiew, partner at Tembusu Partners said that GNum’s vision and unique capabilities, combined with Tembusu’s strong regional resources and network signals significant impact.
“We believe GNum will fundamentally enhance how we communicate with one another. Tembusu is prepared to make big bets to back Asian entrepreneurs who have the vision and courage to transform the industry and benefit global users,” he added.
The startup has developed a patent-pending technology that allows calls from virtually any electronic device – PC, tablet and other mobile phones – to be routed to a GNum user’s mobile phone, without the need for a prior application download, unlike most hybrid peer-to-peer client-server systems.
Its call handle – a personalised URL for each user – can be shared easily through text or image hyperlinks in email signatures, documents, tweets, blogs and social media profiles. It also allows users to stay contactable without revealing their mobile numbers in the public domain.
The service claims superior voice quality as it utilises the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network instead of peer-to-peer services that use traditional VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
GNum will use the funding to acquire related technologies and for working capital as it prepares for a nationwide rollout in Singapore in the coming months before launching in the Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia and Philippines.
The startup intends to launch in United States, China, Hong Kong, India and Australia following its South-East Asian rollout.
Alexandre Yokoyama, chief executive officer of GNum, expressed gratitude over Tembusu’s decision to invest, adding that the firm’s principals also act as mentors and facilitators for partnerships the team is pursuing.
“Singapore is our base and all 8.4 million local mobile numbers are eligible for GNum, which will facilitate rapid adoption here before our international launch. Interested users can register on our website and immediately benefit from such a service,” he added.
Yokoyama said that the company has also been actively engaging several Asian telco companies on partnership opportunities that will involve revenue sharing.
“We seek to work with incumbent major Telcos even as the operating environment is being rapidly redefined,” he added.
Chik expressed confidence over the venture, claiming that GNum will augment the telecommunications ecosystem and bring tremendous value to users and partners by bridging the Internet and telephony divide, “at a time of increasing social networking, mobile connectivity and emphasis on privacy.”