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Google’s life sciences business gains $800 million funding in pivot to Asia

Published on 27/01/17 at 03:13pm

Verily, a life sciences company owned by Alphabet, Google’s umbrella company, has announced that it has received $800 million in funding from Temasek. Verily requiring funding may seem an odd prospect, being part of the Alphabet group, but the investment comes more in the form of expertise rather than as strictly a capital investment.

Verily is turning its attention to the Asian market and Temasek is a Singapore-based investment company, with a good working knowledge of the Chinese market. Temasek has a portfolio of $180 billion, with the leading countries represented in that portfolio being China and Singapore. Temasek will receive a minority stake in the company and a seat on its operating board in exchange for the investment.

“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 Andrew Conrad, CEO of Verily. “With a substantial network and insights into the economies in Asia, Temasek will provide valuable guidance as we look to ex-US markets with our development partners.”

The latter part of the quote is the indication behind the interest in receiving financial backing from Temasek. Verily is currently working on numerous technology products to aid in healthcare, the most well-known example being its collaboration with Novartis on a smart-contact lens. The lens will measure the glucose levels of the wearer and thereby provide constant feedback to the user. The lens was slated for a 2016 release but this has been pushed back to sometime during 2017.

It is reported that Verily brings in sales of $10 million through licensing its technology.

Ben Hargreaves

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