Fri, Nov 23, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Temasek Holdings to explore AI and blockchain deals


Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state investment firm, is setting up groups to explore opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies.

Temasek is creating so-called “experimental pods” to focus on these two areas, which it sees as long-term trends affecting multiple industries and geographies, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg.

Chia Song Hwee (謝松輝), chief operating officer of key management arm Temasek International Pte, is to oversee the groups.

The strategy was announced alongside other organizational changes that took effect on Oct. 1, the memo said.

A spokesman for Temasek, which manages S$308 billion (US$224.43 billion), confirmed the contents.

Temasek in April participated in a US$600 million series C funding round for China’s SenseTime Group Ltd (商湯科技), now the world’s most valuable AI start-up.

Temasek helped lead a series A round in June for London-based Eigen Technologies, which automates the extraction of unstructured data.

In blockchain, Temasek invested in R3, backed by a group of banks seeking to bring distributed ledger technology to their operations.

“We have been expanding our business coverage and geographic footprint over the past few years,” the spokesman said in an e-mailed response to queries. “As our operating environment evolves, our focus is on remaining nimble and well-positioned to capture opportunities that deliver sustainable value over the long term.”

Temasek is also setting up a Strategic Initiatives unit, seeking greater agility for opportunistic deals requiring fast turnaround and senior-level assessment, the memo said.

The unit, which can pull in resources from other parts of Temasek, is to be led by Tan Chong Lee (陳崇禮), who is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as Southeast Asia.

“As the investment landscape becomes more competitive and complex, we are now seeing more situations where we would benefit from collaboration and specialized capabilities wider than our traditional sector and market team approach,” Temasek wrote in the memo.

Temasek said it has identified “investment markets” in areas including Southeast Asia and China.

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