A week and a half – that was how long it took for Singapore-based startup Tembusu Terminals to raise S$300,000 (about US$236,000) in seed funding after its first product launch. According to the official statement, its valuation is set at S$5.1 million (about US$4 million). The amount was secured from undisclosed Singaporean investors.
Jarrod Luo, Co-Founder, Tembusu Terminals, explained to e27 why they had chosen to name the company after an iconic tree. He said, “(It is) so iconic in fact that the Singaporean 5 dollar note denomination design prominently features a Tembusu tree as well. We wanted a corporate symbol that embodies how our products and services will reach out to the greater world at large, with a wide reach and many branches, all of them offering respite, security and convenience to our users.”
This means that the startup now has sufficient working capital to go on and fulfil outstanding orders for its Tembusu Bitcoin vending machines. The funds will also be used to increase Tembusu Terminals’ capacity to launch other products and services that focus on stocking up on raw materials to ensure a smooth production process. In addition, it will look to expand its team, which is currently made up of three co-founders: Andras Kristof, Peter Peh and Jarrod Luo.
Not only will its machines have an option to integrate physical security and anti-theft measures like ID and thumbprint scanning for users, as mentioned earlier in an e27 report, anti-money laundering features will also be implemented and adapted to the laws in different countries. Furthermore, the machine can dispense cash, and be adjusted according to the business needs of its owner.
The first Tembusu had been launched in local watering spot The Spiffy Dapper, while competitors Lamassu and Numoni had rolled out similar machines in Citylink Mall and four locations respectively.
As a peer-to-peer digital currency, Bitcoin has been known to be a popular pseudo-cryptocurrency used for payments and virtual transfers. Anyone can get hold of these coins through various methods, including buying them on the online Bitcoin exchanges, accepting such currency as payment for goods or services, join a mining pool, or utilising vending services through ATMs.
In addition, the city-state’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam had announced last month that bitcoins do not fall under the regulatory purview of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
So, the humourous question begs: Why wasn’t the funds transferred in using Bitcoins? “Our company will gladly accept investments in Fiat currency or Bitcoins, however it does not mean that our investors find it convenient to obtain and handle investment amounts of Bitcoin,” said Luo. He added, “Which of course, points to a niche that we at Tembusu Terminals hope to fill with our products and services!”