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SWFI First Read, November 2, 2017

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Temasek Leads Investment in CircleUp Growth Partners

Singapore’s Temasek Holdings invested in CircleUp Growth Partners, a US$ 125 million fund formed by San Francisco-based CircleUp. Other investors in the fund include former BlackRock executive Ken Kroner. The fund will target early-stage consumer packaged goods startups with between US$ 1 million and US$ 10 million in revenue.

Amazon Registers Cryptocurrency Domain Names

Amazon proceeded to registered three new cryptocurrency-related domains. The domain names are amazonethereum.com, amazoncryptocurrency.com and amazoncryptocurrencies.com. Amazon currently owns amazonbitcoin.com.

Jerome Powell Gets Nod from White House for Fed Chair

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell got the nod from The White House that U.S. President Donald J. Trump intends to nominate him as the next Chairman of the Fed. He is poised to replace the current chair Janet Yellen.

Millennium Management to Pay $639,000 to Settle Charges on Violating Federal Securities Laws

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) discovered that Millennium Management had violated federal securities laws known collectively as Rule 105 four times in 2012. In a press release, the SEC said the firm’s short-selling activity that violated the law involved stock offerings by Capital One Financial, Raymond James Financial, Susser Holdings and Charter Communications. Millennium Management has agreed to pay US$ 639,000 to settle charges of illegal short selling ahead of public stock offerings.

ST Telemedia Leads Investment Round into Instart Logic

ST Telemedia, a unit of Temasek Holdings, led a US$ 30 million investment round into Palo Alto-based Instart Logic Inc., a startup up content delivery network (CDN). Other investors in the round include Stanford-StartupX Fund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz.

Russia-China Investment Fund Invests in Series C Round in Megvii Inc

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Canadian Pension Capital Eyes Inmarsat Takeover

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The board of Inmarsat plc received a non-binding US$ 3.3 billion takeover off from an investor group that includes Apax Partners, Warburg Pincus, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). It is a cash offer of US$ 7.21 per company share for the entire issue. The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan also signaled to join the consortium, according to Inmarsat.

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Khazanah Nasional Could Close UK and Turkish Offices

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Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Berhad is contemplating shuttering its London office, not so much over issues with Brexit, but in a bid to save money on costs, as the wealth fund shifts its strategic focus. Khazanah is also scaling back its presence in Turkey, as the wealth fund does not need a significant presence there.

However, the wealth fund is keen on keeping offices in China and the United States, due to access to technology investments.

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New Zealand Investment Funds Demand Facebook, Google, and Twitter to Patrol and Censor Violent Content

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The NZ Super Fund (New Zealand Superannuation Fund), Accident Compensation Corporation, Government Superannuation Fund Authority, National Provident Fund, and Kiwi Wealth issued a statement calling for social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook, and even search engine Google to take action on responsibility of what is published on their platforms. However, Twitter, Facebook, and Google are aggregators and platforms, not news publishers. News publishers have leeway and discretion on what to write and publish, but are exposed to greater liabilities than news aggregators. Proponents of regulation demand these platforms monitor their content, which in the Western world prides itself on free speech. Increasingly, governments want more censorship control over these various platforms. Popular financial media site Zerohedge recently became censored in New Zealand, as well as online video site LiveLeak and Reddit-like website 4chan.

The massacres in New Zealand Mosques was amplified by social media. This is the case with many notable events, whether negative or positive. A Facebook vice president revealed that less than 200 people saw the Christchurch massacre while it was being streamed live on the website. However, the video was viewed more than 4,000 times before Facebook pulled it from their platform. The saying goes, “at that point, what gets posted on the internet, can stay forever by people making copies.”

These pools of New Zealand public capital are also in the process of contacting peer asset owners. Furthermore, the New Zealand government is looking at breaches of actions on these social media companies and online platforms.

Matt Whineray, NZ Super Fund CEO, in a press release statement said, “We have been profoundly shocked and outraged by the Christchurch terror attacks and their transmission on social media. These companies’ social licence to operate has been severely damaged. We will be calling on Facebook, Google and Twitter to take more responsibility for what is published on their platforms. They must take action to prevent this sort of material being uploaded and shared on social media. An urgent remedy to this problem is required.”

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