Blockchain software firm and global banking consortium R3, is a company focusing on distributed database technology. Temasek Holdings Pte, Singapore’s state investment firm, has invested in R3 as part of blockchain and AI-focused strategy.
The strategy was announced alongside other organizational changes that took effect on the first of October. A spokesman for Temasek, which manages 308 billion dollars, confirmed the contents. Temasek is responding to a shifting global investment landscape by focusing in on bleeding-edge technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Temasek is creating so-called “experimental pods” to focus on these two areas, which it sees as long-term trends impacting multiple industries and geographies. Chia Song Hwee, the chief operating officer of key management arm Temasek International Pte, will lead the new groups.
Temasek’s has been actively participating in developments of the AI and blockchain space. In this year, Temasek participated in a series of funding rounds for AI startups. In April, the firm participated in a series C funding round for China’s SenseTime Group. The funding round raised 600 million dollars and the startup is presently the world’s most valuable AI-based startup. Also, they led a series funding round for Eigen Technologies, a startup that is focusing on using AI to extract unstructured data.
Temasek was one of the over forty institutions that invested in R3 as part of a collective 107-million-dollar Series A fundraising round last May, which was pitched at the time as being “the largest” distributed ledger technology (DLT) investment to date.
“We have been expanding our business coverage and geographic footprint over the past few years,” the Temasek spokesman said. “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 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 Temasek, will be led by Tan Chong Lee, who is head of Europe, Middle East and Africa as well as South-east Asia.