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OMERS to Sell Fund Commitments to AXA Private Equity

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According to the press release, “OMERS Private Equity Inc., the private equity arm of the OMERS Worldwide group of companies, and AXA Private Equity today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement in connection with the sale by OMERS to AXA Private Equity of a portfolio of 11 private equity fund investments, and the related unfunded commitments. The portfolio of entirely buyout funds, in aggregate, represents a total size of approximately US$850 million in original commitments, in predominantly North American and Global funds.

Paul Renaud, Chief Executive Officer, OMERS Private Equity, said: “This transaction is consistent with OMERS strategic shift towards direct investing.”

Following on from AXA Private Equity’s US$1.7 billion acquisition of private equity assets from Citigroup in June 2011, and its US$740 million acquisition of private equity assets from Barclays in June 2011, this latest transaction continues the firm’s secondary funds strategy to offer liquidity to large institutions looking to monetize their private equity investments.

Benoit Verbrugghe, Senior Managing Director and Head of North America for AXA Private Equity said: “This is a large and significant transaction where we have excellent visibility on the assets, especially given that we are an existing investor in many of the funds.”

“Having an international team with global reach gives us excellent perspective on pricing and quality, allowing us to be opportunistic on behalf of our investors and reinforce our strategy of buying excellent quality assets,” continued Mr. Verbrugghe. ‘It enables us to deliver a global solution to the seller in an efficient and discreet manner.'”

Read more: OMERS Press Release

Anne Sheehan to Retire, CalSTRS 1st Corp Gov Director

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Anne Sheehan, the first Corporate Governance Director at California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the current one, plans to retire March 30, 2018. Sheehan’s team manages an activist portfolio worth around US$ 4.1 billion, seeking to influence and help turnaround its large portfolio holdings in select public companies. Sheehan was hired back in 2008.

Christopher J. Ailman, CalSTRS’ chief investment officer, said in a organization release, “Anne has been my most unconventional, best hire.”

A replacement search is underway.

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Temasek Rides with Google on Go-Jek

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Singapore’s Temasek Holdings has reportedly joined forces with Google LLC and Chinese on-demand service provider Meituan-Dianping as part of a US$ 1.2 billion fundraising effort for Indonesian ride-hailing startup Go-Jek that has put regional rivals like Uber and Singapore-based Grab on notice.

Screen Shot Go-Jek, January 19, 2018

Although exact figures for individual stakes have so far been kept secret, the new infusion of capital puts Go-Jek, incorporated as PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa, at a valuation of roughly US$ 4 billion. Samsung Venture Investment Corporation also participated in funding, as well as existing private equity investors KKR & Co. LP and Warburg Pincus LLC.

Google’s direct involvement in Go-Jek’s growth – rather than through its Google Ventures unit – highlights its faith in the latent potential of ride-sharing services – and the tech-enabled consumer services sector as a whole – in Southeast Asia. Home to more than 640 million potential customers, the region was identified as the fastest growing emerging market for e-commerce globally in an industry report published jointly by Google and Temasek last December. According to data compiled by the internet-giant and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund, ride-sharing in Southeast Asia is expected to grow into a US$ 20.1 billion industry by 2025, compared to US$ 5.1 billion in 2017.

2011 Origin Story

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Temasek Leads Series B Round for Chinese Robo Startup Rokid

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Rokid Corporation Limited, a Chinese robotics startup that specializes in smart devices assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), announced the closing of a Series B extension round through its WeChat account on January 18, 2018. The capital-raising effort was led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, with additional contributions from Credit Suisse Group, China Development Bank’s overseas investment arm CDIB Capital International, and existing investor IDG Capital. Although Rokid did not disclose the size or terms of the deal in its announcement, the technology company reportedly secured US$ 100 million in funding.

Founded in 2014 by chief executive Mingming Zhu and chief financial officer Eric Wong, Rokid’s core products consist of its smart speakers, the Rokid Pebble and Alien, as well as the newly debuted Rokid Glass augmented reality spectacles. The company’s most exciting offering, however, is its Full Stack Open Platform, a collaborative effort made in partnership with Alibaba that gives third-party developers backdoor access Rokid’s software suite and hardware integration and will – it hopes – help give its offerings the accessibility and recognition they need to thrive outside its home market of China.

Rokid is particularly keen on bringing its products to the U.S., where it believes it can challenge Google and Amazon’s dominance in the smart home arena. Amazon makes the Amazon Echo, while Google has Google Home.

The Series B

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