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Technology

Here's How Temasek Is Going All Out With Blockchain & AI

The investment firm is looking to explore opportunities in these two technologies
Here's How Temasek Is Going All Out With Blockchain & AI
Image credit: Shutterstock
Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
3 min read

Investors are not shying away from investing in new emerging, technologies. Both blockchain and artificial intelligence are grabbing massive amounts of investment attention. The recent one is Singapore’s investment company Temasek that is setting new groups to explore opportunities in these two technologies.

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

The new group will be overseen by Chia Song Hwee, the chief operating officer of key management arm Temasek International.

The Temasek spokesman said in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries, “We have been expanding our business coverage and geographic footprint over the past few years. 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.”

The memo also added that Temasek is also setting up a new Strategic Initiatives unit, seeking greater agility for opportunistic deals requiring fast turnaround and senior-level assessment. The unit, which can pull in resources from other parts of the company, will be led by Tan Chong Lee, who is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as South-east 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 added in the memo.

The memo shows that the firm sees Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand as "engagement markets" where it will primarily focus on institutional network building.

Past Investments

This is not the first time when Temasek and shown keen interest in these two technologies. In April, China’s leading AI company SenseTime Group Ltd. raised US$600 million in its Series C round of funding from Alibaba Group, Temasek Holdings and other investors. With the mission of leading AI innovation to power the future, SenseTime has independently developed a deep learning platform, supercomputing centres, and a range of AI technologies such as face recognition, image recognition, object recognition, text recognition, medical image analysis, video analysis, autonomous driving, and remote sensing.

Another AI startup Rokid raised US$100 million in a Series B extension round of funding, led by Temasek Holdings in January. Hangzhou-based Rokid specializes in the research and product development of Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

Recently, the investment firm has also invested in Blockchain Software Company and the global banking group R3. Enterprise blockchain software firm R3 is working with a broad ecosystem of more than 200 members and partners across multiple industries from both the private and public sectors to develop Corda, their open-source blockchain platform, and Corda Enterprise, a commercial version for enterprise usage.

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