Daily Crunch: Microsoft rethinks corporate intranet

Microsoft tries to improve corporate intranet, Google will offer new smartphone health measurements and 23andMe is going public via SPAC. This is your Daily Crunch for February 4, 2021.

The big story: Microsoft rethinks corporate intranet

Microsoft launched what it’s calling a new “employee experience platform,” designed to reinvent those corporate intranet sites that large companies use to share content with their employees.

What makes this new platform, called Viva, any different? Well, it integrates with Microsoft’s other collaboration tools like SharePoint and Yammer, along with LinkedIn Learning and other training services, and it also includes team analytics.

In a pre-recorded video, CEO Satya Nadella said Microsoft is launching this because, “We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience. As the world recovers, there is no going back. Flexibility in when, where and how we work will be key.”

The tech giants

Venmo to gain crypto, budgeting, savings and Honey integrations this year — The Venmo mobile payments app is going to look very different in 2021 as it inches closer to neobank territory.

Google to offer heart and respiratory rate measurements using just your smartphone’s camera — Google is introducing features that will allow users to take vital health measurements using just the camera they already have on their smartphone.

HubSpot acquires media startup The Hustle — HubSpot says content is an increasingly important part of its business, with customers finding its products through things like YouTube videos and HubSpot Academy.

Startups, funding and venture capital

23andMe set to go public via a Virgin Group SPAC merger — The transaction is expected to result in 23andMe having around $984 million in cash available at close.

Accel backs Mexican startup Flink’s effort to bring consumer investing to Latin America — Since launching its first brokerage product in July of 2020, Flink has surpassed 1 million users and 800,000 active brokerage accounts.

Tovala, the smart oven and meal kit service, heats up with $30M more in funding — This is the second round of funding for the startup in the space of six months.

Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch

Four strategies for deep tech founders who are fundraising — Step one: Use storytelling to highlight your big vision.

Why one Databricks investor thinks the company may be undervalued — The recent Databricks funding round, a $1 billion investment at a $28 billion valuation, was one of the year’s most notable private investments so far.

Extra Crunch is now hiring for reporter, editor and project manager positions — Extra Crunch is about to turn two years old and we now have a lot of demanding subscribers. (We love them, of course.)

(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Everything else

A growing number of startups are creating APIs to assess and offset corporate carbon emissions — It was only a matter of time before application programming interfaces came for the carbon credit offsets.

The cloud infrastructure market hit $129B in 2020 — That’s up from around $97 billion in 2019, according to data from Synergy Research Group.

China’s national blockchain network embraces global developers — Last year, an ambitious, government-backed blockchain infrastructure network launched in China.

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.

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