Why investment company Temasek builds its own start-ups

Solutions for a better planet

Temasek, with a net portfolio value of $381 billion as of March 31, 2021, has shifted its focus to investing in more technological solutions.

For example, its investments in non-bank financial services companies have grown from next to nothing in 2011 to almost 10% of its total portfolio in 2021.

Temasek’s recent digitization-focused investments include Flywire, a US-based cross-border payment services platform, and UK-based wealth management platform FNZ.

It also supports sustainable and technological solutions, such as that of the geothermal energy company Eavor. Eavor has developed proprietary technology that allows it to turn the Earth’s heat into clean energy.

Beyond investing and creating solutions, Temasek brings together like-minded partners to catalyze new ideas.

He created Partior, a blockchain-powered global multi-currency digital payments network, with financial services institutions DBS Bank and JPMorgan.

Partior aims to disrupt the traditional model of cross-border payments – which it says is expensive and time-consuming – by using blockchain and distributed ledger technology for faster and more efficient settlement of bank payments.

During the launch of Partior in April 2021, Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), called it “a global watershed moment for digital currencies”. This marked the shift from pilots and experimentation to commercialization and adoption of these currencies, he said.

Temasek is also helping advance Singapore’s national AI strategy through Aicadium, its global AI center of excellence. As part of the national AI in finance program, Aicadium is working with fintech companies and local banks to develop an AI platform – called NovA! — which generates information on financial risks.

In its initial phase, the platform will help financial institutions harness AI to better assess the environmental impact of companies and identify environmental risks.

Temasek is also stepping up its efforts to fight climate change. She formed Climate Impact X (CIX), a global exchange and marketplace for quality carbon credits, with DBS Bank, the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) and Standard Chartered.

CIX leverages innovative technologies such as satellite monitoring, machine learning and blockchain technology to improve the transparency, integrity and quality of carbon credits, so they can have a sustainable environmental impact.

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