Temasek backs Google life sciences affiliate

The Singapore state investor’s $800 million investment in San Francisco-based Verily will be used to commercialise the company’s healthcare products in Asia.

Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings has invested $800 million for a minority stake in Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent holding company of tech giant Google.

A majority of the investment will be available imminently, with the remainder scheduled for the second half of 2017, Verily said in a statement.

“Temasek has a history of thoughtful and enduring capital investments, including in life sciences and healthcare, and this commitment to a long-term collaboration with Verily is a meaningful affirmation of our strategy,” said Verily chief executive officer Andrew Conrad.

He added that Temasek’s network in Asia will be valuable to Verily as it eyes markets outside of the US.

Temasek’s $800 million investment will be used to commercialise the company’s healthcare products globally. Following the deal, Temasek will also nominate a director to Verily’s board.

Temasek, with approximately $180 billion of assets according to PEI data, announced last year an increased focus on North American technology ventures, including healthcare technology, and in late 2016 set up its second US office in San Francisco.

In October, Temasek invested $250 million in Columbia China, the Chinese healthcare unit of Seattle-based Columbia Pacific Management. And in December, the firm participated participated in the $289 million funding round of the Oxford Sciences Innovation Fund.

In recent years the firm has also backed New Jersey-headquartered pharmaceutical company Alvogen and Massachusetts-based biotech company ThermoFisher Scientific.

Verily is a life sciences research and engineering company based in San Francisco. Formerly known as Google Life Sciences, the company was rebranded as Verily in 2015 as completely independent of Alphabet. Among its medical projects include a miniaturised continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help people with Type 2 diabetes and Liftware Steady, a utensil that helps people with hand tremor or limited hand and arm mobility.