Microsoft launches Loop, an open source, real-time collaboration tool – TechCrunch





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Hello and welcome to Daily Crunch for November 2, 2021. Today was a fun one because your humble TechCrunch was in the news. Not for reasons we’re excited about, but the greater digital decoupling of China and the world is real, and we’ve gotten caught up in it. Let’s talk about it. — Alex

The TechCrunch Top 3

  • Yahoo leaves China: TechCrunch parent company Yahoo is exiting the Chinese market and pulling what was left of its service offerings from the market. TechCrunch and its sister publication Engadget are no longer accessible in the country. The news comes after Epic Games announced the end of its project to bring Fortnite to the Chinese market, and Microsoft decided it was time for LinkedIn to leave the country as well.
  • Bird goes public: Well-known scooter unicorn Bird’s planned merger with a blank check company has been approved and is set to take place later this week. Public market investors responded by selling shares in Bird’s SPAC partner, a somewhat embarrassing result. It is not clear exactly how much capital will be raised. To learn more about Bird’s changing economy, TechCrunch is here to help.
  • Microsoft goes metavers: Amid a wave of news items today – see our Big Tech section for more – Microsoft has announced that its Teams product is heading into the metaverse. But contrary to what? Facebook Meta has planned that Microsoft’s “Mesh for Teams” service will “power shared experiences in virtual reality, augmented reality and elsewhere with Teams and its built-in productivity tools,” TechCrunch reports.

Startups/VC

  • Not in NFTs? What about PE? The acronym soup that stands for modern finance can make your head spin. But don’t worry, startups are here to help. For example, Aqua wants to help mom-and-pop investors gain exposure to private equity investments. Which, as you may know, needs more advanced capabilities. However, as Natasha Mascarenhas points out, interest in alternative investment products has increased, which could give a nice boost to what Aqua has to offer.
  • Backblaze sets IPO price range: Amid a wave of unicorn IPOs, Backblaze’s public offering stands out for its modest size. That’s not a diss. To be Good to see smaller technology companies go public. If Backblaze does the right thing, it can help more companies pull the trigger. We hope.
  • App monitoring is big business: That’s the lesson of Lumigo’s $29 million Series A that TechCrunch wrote about today. The company’s product is also expanding from serverless platforms (DynamoDB, S3, and others) to now include containers and virtual machines.
  • Tim Draper supports startup that wants your piss: Yes, no kidding. Renowned investor Tim Draper has led a $6 million Series A round to Vivoo. TechCrunch writes that the “personalized nutrition and lifestyle startup sells subscription-based home urine testing kits that work in conjunction with an app.” For example, I don’t need an app to tell me to drink more water. I already know. But maybe more of us could use a reminder.
  • Firefox updated its mobile browser to limit clutter, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t just use basic mobile software.
  • To wrap up our startup news, Nuro has raised a $600 million round from Google and Tiger Global for its autonomous vans.

What the move from Netflix to gaming means for developers

Some analysts predict that Netflix will spend as much as $19 billion on original and acquired content by 2025, but that figure leaves a new frontier for the global media platform: gaming.

Netflix hired a lead for its gaming division in July and bought Night School Studio in September, giving it access to more developers.

“You may wonder how Netflix’s plans will affect game developers and studios around the world,” said John S. Kim, CEO of Sendbird. “More importantly, how will developers react to Netflix’s entry into space?”

(TechCrunch+ is our membership program that helps founders and startup teams move forward. You can register here.)

Big Tech Inc.

It’s Microsoft Day, so here’s the rest of our coverage of the corporate event:

From elsewhere in Big Tech land:

  • Netflix’s gaming ambitions continue: Just as Spotify wants to be a serious player in podcasting, Netflix really seems to think that games are part of its future. The company’s titles will be coming to all Android-using members starting this week. Enjoying.
  • Roblox malfunction not working properly: Not only did Roblox suffer a multi-day outage, but the downtime of the public gaming company also boosted rival games. Because just like shooters shoot, gamers game, and if your platform goes down, Steam is just a few clicks away.
  • Zoom wants to cash in on the ad boom, fueled in part by rising tech wealth, with an ad-supported version of its video chat service.

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