Temasek denies algo investment as fake news
A curious disruptive technology group proudly announced an investment by Temasek. The problem: it wasn’t true.
It seemed a classic Temasek emerging-technology acquisition. On Monday, several trade publications reported on a $10 million investment by the Singapore sovereign vehicle in an algorithm-based currency system called Array.
The stories – at least a dozen of them – were supported by quotes from an announcement from Array, saying things like “Array is grateful for this massive investment from a well-respected family” and that “the family has faith in its vision and the team behind it”.
This seemed an unlikely comment to have been cleared by Temasek’s comms team: the last thing Temasek would ever call itself is “a family”, for fear that it might be inferred that it is linked to the Lee family. Lee Hsien Loong is the nation’s prime minister; his father, Lee Kuan Yew, was the nation’s founder; and his wife, Ho Ching, once led Temasek.
This has often required it to defend itself against suggestions of nepotism, though Temasek’s board and governance are among the most robust of all sovereign funds.
All was not as it seemed. The day after the reports, Temasek issued a statement of its own with a blunt headline: “Fake news about Temasek’s investment in Array.”
“We have seen news articles and a tweet from Array about Temasek’s investment in it,” the statement said. “This news is incorrect. Temasek has not invested in Array and we have no relationship with them.”
Array’s website, arrayfio.io, has a scrolling list of partners along the bottom including not only Temasek but Standard Chartered, Blackstone, Binance Labs, Sequoia and Coinbase Ventures. Euromoney has reached out to StanChart to see if it has a relationship with Array.
The original announcement from Array, which can be found on Yahoo!, originated with Media OutReach and carries the dateline “Victoria, Seychelles – 1 May 2023.” It claims the investment took place on March 28 and was from “Temasek Family, a leading global investment firm”. It claims that the Temasek investment gives the company a value of more than $100 million, “making it one of the most valuable algorithmic currency systems in the market”.
Curiously, the About Array section of the site has profiles of three people identified only by their first names – co-founders James, CMO Jim and adviser Kaylyn. Each has an AI-generated picture attached to their bio. And the Contact us section leads to a note saying: “Coming soon.”
Euromoney has reached out through the company’s Twitter feed for comment.