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UK Canary Wharf Group gets Qatari Fund boost

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Gulf Times reports, “Qatar Holding, a strategic and direct investment arm of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), will extend debt finance to part fund Songbird Estates’ purchase of additional 8.45% equity in the London’s realty developer Canary Wharf Group (CWG). Songbird Estates, in which the Qatar Holding seeks to be one of the largest shareholders, has invested £112.5mn in buying another 54mn shares in CWG, a leading real estate and development company with more than 7mn square feet of office and retail space. The purchase of additional stake will increase the share of Songbird, which is incorporated in England and Wales, in the CWG to 69.3% from 60.8%.

‘Qatar Holding will be a leading participant in a new debt facility to help fund the purchase by Songbird Estates of the additional shares in CWG,’ said a spokesman of Qatar Holding, which has agreed to fully participate in the offering to the extent of its 14.8% stake in Songbird.

However, he did not disclose to what extent Qatar Holding will partake in the debt facility. The CWG is an integrated property development and investment entity focused exclusively on Grade-A office space and high retail facilities at the Canary Wharf Estate, a 97-acre development which is part of the Central London Office Market.

‘We fully support the management of Songbird in undertaking this transaction, which we believe is a good opportunity to create value for all Songbird shareholders,’ said Ahmad al-Sayed, CEO of Qatar Holding, which will also be the lead participant in the previously announced £275mn preference share issue.”

read more: Gulf Times

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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