It’s possibly the largest seed round ever raised in the island state – at least the largest to be made public
Singapore-based startup GNum today announced it has raised $5.6 million in seed funding from private equity firm Tembusu Partners. It’s possibly the largest seed round ever raised in the island-state – at least the largest to be made public.
GNum is a free online chat service that allows people to connect using a simple URL. So, unlike with Skype, Tango, Viber, or countless other chat apps, there’s no need to sign up or log in. You just need to give the personalized URL to whoever it is you’d like to call you. The idea is that it gives more privacy, keeping it separate from your social media life. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more secure. No app is needed, but there’s a very basic GNum app available for Android and iOS.
It’s not exactly rocket science, so it’s not clear why so much seed funding is involved. Adding to the mystery, GNum seems to have been around for a year or two and gained no visible traction.
GNum doesn’t use VoIP – unlike Skype – as the startup claims you’ll get better quality using a direct connection.
The funding will be used to accelerate GNum’s rollout in Singapore and subsequent expansion to four other countries in Southeast Asia – Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Following this, GNum will also be launching in the United States, China, Hong Kong, India, and Australia in the near future. The app’s parent company is called GlobalRoam.
“GNum has been actively engaging several Asian telco companies on partnership opportunities that will involve revenue sharing,” says Alexandre Yokoyama, GNum’s CEO. “We seek to work with incumbent major telcos even as the operating environment is being rapidly redefined.”
Chik Wai Chiew, partner at Tembusu Partners, believes that GNum will make a huge difference in the telecommunications sector. “We are confident 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,” he says.
This post was originally published on Tech in Asia