Left to Right, Alex Yokoyama (GNum CEO), Chris Yeo (aSpecial CEO), Sally Loh (aSpecial VP), Paul Jansen (aSpecial Chairman), Clarence Tan (GlobalRoam CEO) (1)

GlobalRoam Invests S$2M In Local Big Data Startup aSpecial Media; Launches Service To Help Enterprises Reach Out To “Silent Majority” Of Online Consumers

Posted on Posted in Newsroom
  • GlobalRoam subsidiary GNum invests S$2 million for significant minority stake in homegrown analytics firm aSpecial Media, which is founded by three former SPH executives
  • Investment allows GNum to expand its expertise to help businesses intuit consumer trends and widen their marketing reach
  • aSpecial Media has more than 29 million consumer profiles and 300 enterprise customers


SINGAPORE, 21 July 2015 – Homegrown telecommunication services provider GlobalRoam Group Limited (“GlobalRoam”) has invested S$2 million in aSpecial Media a Singapore startup, and will launch a new service to help enterprises analyse consumer behaviour from the way they silently scan the Internet.

GlobalRoam said today its subsidiary GNum Pte Ltd (“GNum”) made the investment for a significant minority stake in aSpecial Media, a Big Data firm set up by three former Singapore Press Holdings executives and backed by several prominent local entrepreneurs and angel investors.

GNum concurrently announced that it would launch GNum Analytics, a service that combines its own IP telephony service with the analytics applications of aSpecial Media. The service will help businesses track the behaviour and buying patterns of the “silent majority” of Internet users.

This “silent majority” frequently scans the Internet for news and information but – unlike the vocal minority of Tweeters or Facebook users – may not actively post comments on social media or blogs. Yet, it is the opinions and preferences of the former that shape buying patterns as e-commerce becomes increasingly prevalent.

In recent years, traditional advertising to get consumers to open up their wallets has yielded mixed results. Small enterprises, in particular, often find traditional advertising costly, and even struggle to get their messages across to their target audience given the growing ubiquity of advertising tools, including social media channels.

On their part, marketing experts increasingly seek deeper insights on the average consumer. Until now, these insights have been hidden and overshadowed by dependence on social media analytics, which largely decipher patterns based on relatively smaller audiences who actively post their views on social media.

Businesses can now effortlessly track and analyse consumers’ behaviour to decipher potential trends and develop more targeted strategies to reach out to their audience. aSpecial Media’s unique algorithm understands consumer’s interest by analysing what they read on their smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. By studying their reading behaviour in real time, aSpecial Media is able to show what people are interested in.

This data is stored and continuously updated as interest profiles – a more efficient predictor of potential consumer activity than demographics. Capturing data this way gives insights into consumers’ behaviour and interests that businesses otherwise would not detect from plain social media postings.

aSpecial Media currently has over 29 million consumer profiles, analyses more than 127 million articles read every month, and approximately 300 enterprise customers. The funding from GNum will help it move faster towards its goal of becoming Asia’s largest database of real-time behaviour to enable businesses to reach the right person at the right time.

aSpecial Media’s shareholders include Singapore’s National Research Foundation, Mr Leslie Loh, founder of System Access, the banking software developer acquired by US-based SunGard Data Systems in 2006, and Mr Frank Levinson’s Small World Group incubator. Mr Levinson is co-founder of Finisar, the world’s largest supplier of optical communication components.

GNum will leverage on aSpecial Media to expand its own core IP telephony business. GNum’s parent company, GlobalRoam has a patent-pending technology that allows calls from any device to be routed to a user’s mobile phone through a personalized call link that can be easily shared through text or image hyperlinks in email signatures, documents, and websites.

GNum’s call links – already launched in Singapore and coming to new markets – allow businesses and users to stay contactable without having to reveal their numbers in the public domain. Enterprises using GNum Analytics will be able to study caller trends and, eventually predict what these callers are likely to purchase or are interested in.

On 20 October 2014, GNum received S$7.0 million of seed funding from Tembusu Partners Pte Ltd, a leading private equity firm in Singapore.

Mr. Clarence Tan, Founder and CEO of GlobalRoam, said, “This investment via our subsidiary GNum elevates the value positioning of GlobalRoam beyond IP telephony and will allow us to engage enterprises more directly using the power of Big Data.”

Mr. Alexandre Yokoyama, CEO of GNum, added, “GNum will soon integrate aSpecial’s capability to decipher consumer patterns from the way people get informed and read about a specific product or service, which can improve and enrich the relationship of SMEs with their customers. GNum aims to deliver a global toll-free service enhanced with analytics data in a unique and user-friendly product.”

Mr. Chris Yeo, CEO of aSpecial Media, said, “This investment and partnership enable both sides to grow our regional presence rapidly. aSpecial Media will be able to tap on the existing relationships that GlobalRoam and GNum have with regional telcos which will accelerate our plan to boost the number of consumer profiles to 100 million in the next three years.”

 – End of Press Release –


Issued on behalf of GNum Pte Ltd and Tembusu Partners Pte Ltd by WeR1
Consultants Pte Ltd:

Media Contact:
WeR1 Consultants Pte Ltd
38A Circular Road, Singapore 049394
Tel: (65) 6737 4844
GNum: www.gnum.com/pr
Ian Lau: ianlau@wer1.net

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