In today’s top payments news around the world, Klook has closed a Series E funding round headed up by Aspex Management, while Gojek is aiming to expand its ridesharing and online payments business. Plus, artificial intelligence (AI) firm, Ariel AI, has been acquired by Snap.
Hong Kong’s travel and leisure reservation company Klook has closed a $200 million Aspex Management-led Series E funding round, with participation by Boyu Capital, Matrix Partners China, SoftBank Vision Fund and Sequoia Capital China. Klook’s merchant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions fuel millions of reservations for over 2,500 merchants throughout the world.
Indonesia’s Gojek is looking to grow its ride-hailing and digital payments business across Southeast Asia and beyond. “One of our primary focuses for 2021 is really to expand our footprint outside of Indonesia,” Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi said in a published interview. Gojek, which was established in 2010, started as a ridesharing business but has since evolved into food delivery and digital payments.
Ariel AI has been bought by Snap. Ariel AI had been focusing on a kind of AI known as computer vision, which is harnessed to build out augmented reality (AR) features. Ariel AI had raised $1.1 million in investments prior to the Snap deal, according to a published report, which cited Crunchbase. Ariel AI was started in the United Kingdom by ex-Google and ex-Facebook research scientists.
French President Emmanuel Macron provided a warning to Big Tech players, cautioning them that they have to follow European Union (EU) rules. The bloc wants the tech sector to follow regulations to moderate digital content and keep the market power of Big Tech players in check.