Microsoft backs Cruise – TechCrunch

Autonomous vehicle company Cruise raised a new round of $ 2 billion, Netflix continued to grow and WhatsApp faced more privacy concerns. This is your daily crunch for January 19, 2021.

Big story: Microsoft returns Cruise

Cruise announced today that he has Raised 2 billion dollars in new funding At a valuation of $ 30 billion, Microsoft joined as a new investor. (Previous backers GM and Honda also participated.)

This includes a long-term strategic partnership between the two companies, with Cruise using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform for its yet-to-be-launched autonomous vehicle ride-hailing service. Microsoft is also becoming the preferred cloud provider for GM as part of the deal.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement, “As the preferred cloud for Cruise and GM, we will apply the power of Azure to make them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”

Tech giants

Netflix shares as it passes 200M paid subscribers – Netflix closed a year of impressive streaming growth, adding 8.5 million net new paying subscribers during the fourth quarter.

India asked WhatsApp to withdraw new privacy policy on ‘serious concerns’ – India’s IT ministry said the upcoming update to the app’s data-sharing policy “has raised serious concerns about the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens.”

Apple’s new editorial franchise, Apple Podcast Spotlight to uncover interesting creators – Apple’s editorial team will select new podcast creators to feature every month.

Startup, Funding and Venture Capital

Rivian raises $ 2.65B as it pushes toward production of its electric pickup – Rivian is now valued at $ 27.6 billion.

PPRO $ 180M to bring the fragmented world of payments together at a $ 1B + valuation – The London startup has created a platform to enable localized payments to make it easier for markets, payment providers and other e-commerce players.

Google backs India’s Danzo in $ 40M financing round – Last year, Google revealed a $ 10 billion fund to invest in the world’s second largest Internet market.

Additional crisis advice and analysis

In 2020, VCs invested $ 428M in US-based startups every day
That is according to data shared by Pitchbook and the National Venture Capital Association.

Six Investors on 2021 Mobile Gaming Trends and Opportunities – “We are definitely afraid of completely disrupting Apple’s ability or affecting the development of a game,” said Ethan Kurzwiel and Saqib Dadi of Bessemer.

Bustle CEO Brian Goldberg explains his plans to make the company public – Bustle may eventually join the ranks of startups going public through SPAC.

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

Europe is working on a common framework for ‘pass vaccine passport’ – The European Commission said today that a common approach to mutual recognition of vaccination documentation is of “utmost importance”.

Paramount +, the successor of CBS All Access, launches in the US, Canada and Latin America on March 4 – The company was postponing its plans for rebranded service since last year.

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