Alphabet’s health-focused subsidiary Verily, formerly Google Life Sciences before the great corporate alphabetization, has received an $800 million investment from Temasek, the majority of which is to be delivered mostly over the next few days, with a smaller portion of funding coming in the second half of 2017.
Temasek is an investment company based in Singapore, with investments across a wide range of industries and global offices around the world. The investment firm is described in a press release as focusing on companies tackling long-term trends, and Verily definitely fits the bill with its efforts to address issues like deteriorating vision and Parkinson’s disease.
Verily is also doing work on disease detection, including via efforts to bring to life a real-world Tricorder, mimicking the fictional performance of the device with the same name depicted in the Star Trek franchise. Stat News reported last year that Verily’s efforts on this front weren’t turning out quite as hoped, however.
Still, Verily’s portfolio also includes a project to establish a healthy baseline for human beings, down to the genetic level, as well as develop a health tracking wristband designed for actually monitoring patients as a prescription device, and efforts to help develop ever more advanced surgical assistance robots. It’s also looking to build better bugs (actual insects) in an effort to combat disease transmission.
The investment will result in Temasek getting a minority stake in Verily, and Temasek will also get to nominate one of its own as a board member for the Alphabet-owned company. Verily CEO Andrew Conrad also noted in the press release announcing the investment that Temasek will help the company strategically as it looks to build out its business in Asia and beyond the U.S.
Verily is moving towards more commercialization of its work through this new investment, and it’s not the only Alphabet subsidiary to begin to pursue commercial applications of its work with more apparent urgency. Waymo, which previously existed as Google’s Self-Driving Car project, also recently took a number of steps towards making its primarily research-focused organization more of a potential revenue center.