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Apple acquires Lattice Data

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Last week, Apple confirmed that it acquired Lattice Data for a rumoured price tag of $200 million. Lattice Data specialises in turning “dark” or unstructured data into structured data. According to TechCrunch, around 80% of data produced by the digital world is “dark” and can’t be used for processing and analytics. Lattice Data uses artificial intelligence to make sense of unorganized data and make it usable. For Apple, analysts predict that the tech giant may use Lattice Data’s know-how to enhance Siri so that the AI assistant can provide more meaningful answers, handle more commands and improve its overall ability to compete better with the likes of Google App, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s S Voice.

Indonesia’s Go-Jek raises $1.2 billion from Tencent

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Fresh from its $550 million funding round last year from investors such as KKR, Warburg Pincus, Farallon Capital, and Capital Group Private Markets, Go-Jek, Indonesia’s answer to Uber and Grab, has recently closed a new round of $1.2 billion led by Chinese internet leader, Tencent. At a $3 billion post-money valuation, Go-Jek is one of Asia’s fast-rising unicorns. According to sources, Go-Jek has been beating Uber in Indonesia since day one. By offering scooters instead of cars, Go-Jek has cautiously avoided a direct collision with the more established taxi industry. Being homegrown also gave the company the advantage of having a deeper understanding of the local market and easily attracted scooter owners to its platform. The company has since expanded into cars with its GoCar and today boasts of having over 200,000 drivers all across the country. The company plans to use its new funds to strengthen its Indonesian operations and hopefully dominate the country’s thriving ride-sharing market which is predicted to be worth $5.6 billion by 2025.

Didi Chuxing raises $5.5 billion

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After riding high on its acquisition of Uber’s Chinese business last year, China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has recently raised a whopping $5.5 billion from Silver Lake Partners, China Merchants Bank, Bank of Communications and SoftBank at a rumoured valuation of over $50 billion. According to sources, the cash infusion will be used for global expansion and to further the company’s pursuit of autonomous driving technology. Driverless cars present a great opportunity for ride-hailing companies by its potential to reduce costs. By taking drivers out of the equation and making cars run 24/7, ride-hailing companies can raise their profits ten-fold as well as stay relevant in an ever-changing environment.

PetSmart acquires Chewy.com for $3.35 billion

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After Walmart’s acquisition of Jet.com for $3.3 billion last year, another traditional brick and mortar retailer is getting into the online business. Last week, PetSmart, the American retail chain that sells pet supplies and services, has acquired pet ecommerce site Chewy.com for a jaw-dropping price tag of $3.35 billion. The deal is said to be the biggest ecommerce acquisition in history. According to analysts, PetSmart stands to reap several benefits from the deal including a broader customer reach, better digital marketing, expanded omnichannel capabilities, and a bright spot in the future of shopping. According to reports from BI Intelligence, ecommerce is truly becoming the future of retail with a projected growth of $632 billion in 2020.