Tech News and Analysis from around the web
Juro Osawa / The Information:
Sources: Indonesia's Gojek and Tokopedia are finalizing an $18B merger, creating a combined company called Goto, in a deal expected to close as early as April — Gojek and Tokopedia, two of Indonesia's biggest internet companies, are finalizing their $18 billion merger to create a giant in ride-hailing, food delivery and e-commerce.
Stephanie Yang / Wall Street Journal:
China's antitrust watchdog publishes strikingly similar statements from 12 companies, including ByteDance and JD.com, pledging compliance with antimonopoly laws — Days after a record fine against Alibaba, China's tech companies have pledged to adhere to antimonopoly regulations
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
Ireland's Data Protection Commission says it is investigating Facebook's recently-discovered data leak that affected 533M accounts — Facebook's lead data supervisor in the European Union has opened an investigation into whether the tech giant violated data protection rules vis-a-vis the leak of data reported earlier this month.
Miriam Gottfried / Wall Street Journal:
Abu Dhabi's Group 42, which offers AI and cloud computing products aimed at digitizing enterprises, raises ~$800M from Silver Lake for a minority stake — Private-equity firm will be technology company's first Western investor — Silver Lake is investing about $800 million to take a minority stake …
Amy Feldman / Forbes:
Groq, which makes chips for data centers and autonomous vehicles, raises $300M Series C, led by Tiger Global and D1 Capital, at a $1B+ valuation — Jonathan Ross left Google to launch next-generation semiconductor startup Groq in 2016. Today, the Mountain View, California-based firm …
New York Times:
Hundreds of executives and companies, including Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon, sign a statement opposing “any discriminatory legislation” around voting — Amazon, Google, G.M. and Starbucks were among those joining the biggest show of solidarity by businesses over legislation in numerous states.
William Gallagher / AppleInsider:
University of Washington researchers partner with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 or flu — Researchers at the University of Washington have partnered with Apple to study how Apple Watch may be used to predict illnesses such as coronavirus, or flu.
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Wire, an enterprise-focused end-to-end encrypted messaging app raises $21M Series B led by UVC Partners — Wire, the end-to-end encrypted messaging app and service, has raised a $21 million Series B funding round led by UVC Partners. As the company said a couple of years ago …
Ian Hamilton / UploadVR:
Oculus says v28 software update to Quest 2 will add an Air Link mode to play PC VR games wirelessly, a 120Hz refresh rate, and improvements to Infinite Office — Facebook's latest update to the Oculus Quest 2 software will add an Air Link mode to play PC VR games wirelessly.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Upstack, which helps businesses choose better cloud and other digital services, raises $50M, bringing its total raised to ~$85M — Digital transformation has been one of the biggest catchphrases of the past year, with many an organization forced to reckon with aging IT, a lack of digital strategy …
Mishaal Rahman / XDA Developers:
Leaked Android 12 build gives a look at upcoming features, including quick settings, volume panel UI, location permissions, and clipboard access notification — It's been nearly 2 months since Google released the first Android 12 developer preview, and we're expecting the third developer preview to drop at any moment.
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Plex raises $50M+ Series C from existing investor Intercap, bringing its total raised to $60M, and says it has more than 25M registered users globally — Streaming media service Plex, looking to grow its free, ad-supported video business, announced that it raised more than $50 million …
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Amazon unveils second-gen Echo Buds with a 20% smaller design and enhanced noise cancellation for $120 and a USB-C wireless charging case for $140 — The second-gen Echo Buds are 20 percent smaller and priced very aggressively — Amazon is today introducing its second-generation pair of Echo Buds.
James Vincent / The Verge:
Google's decision to fire two of its top AI ethics researchers has triggered waves of protest from academics, as some say its research can't be trusted any more — Google has worked for years to position itself as a responsible steward of AI. Its research lab hires respected academics …
Sources: Australian company Azimuth unlocked San Bernardino shooter's iPhone for FBI, using a flaw in Mozilla's open source code used for lightning accessories — Azimuth unlocked the iPhone at the center of an epic legal battle between the FBI and Apple. Now, Apple is suing the company co-founded …