Singapore’s State Investment Firm Backed R3 as Part of Blockchain and AI-Focused Strategy
Singapore’s state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte has invested in enterprise blockchain software firm and global banking consortium R3, according to a Bloomberg report Nov. 22.
Temasek is a Singapore government-owned investment company, which has reported its Asia-focused portfolio to be worth around S$308 billion ($235 billion) as of spring 2018.
Bloomberg today cites an “internal memo,” whose contents have reportedly been confirmed by a Temasek spokesperson, which illuminates the company’s broad investment strategy as of October 2018. It indicates that Temasek is responding to a shifting global investment landscape by focusing in on bleeding-edge technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI).
This strategy reportedly entails the creation of “experimental pods,” set up with the express purpose of focusing on investments in blockchain technologies and AI, two areas the company considers to be “long-term” trends set to impact multiple industries globally.
In particular, the memo reveals that Temasek was one of the over forty institutions that invested in R3 as part of a collective $107 million Series A fundraising round last May, which was pitched at the time as being “the largest” distributed ledger technology (DLT) investment to date.
Temasek’s spokesperson told Bloomberg in private correspondence that the company is focused on “remaining nimble and well-positioned to capture opportunities that deliver sustainable value over the long term.”
Alongside its R3 investment, of which the exact sum is undisclosed, Temasek is further reported to have participated in in a $600 million series C funding round in April for Chinese AI startup SenseTime.
As reported yesterday, major South Korean Internet conglomerate Kakao Corp has just established a subsidiary in Singapore to attract foreign investments with cryptocurrencies.
In other domestic crypto and blockchain news, Singapore’s central bank has announced it is broadening its regulatory regime for payment providers to bring certain cryptocurrencies under its jurisdiction, with the new legislation due to come into force by the end of 2019.
As recently reported, R3 is involved as a DLT solutions advisor to post-trade infrastructure giant Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which has replatformed its Trade Information Warehouse based on DLT. The Trade Information Warehouse provides event processing services for around 98 percent of all credit derivatives transactions globally, and the project entered its testing phase Nov. 6.