Microsoft shows off a new AR/VR meeting platform, Uber spins out a robotics startup and Compass files to go public. This is your Daily Crunch for March 2, 2021.
The big story: Microsoft unveils Mesh for AR/VR meetings
Mesh is a platform that allows for shared meetings between Microsoft’s HoloLens (augmented reality) and Windows Mixed Reality (virtual reality). Lucas Matney describes it as “pretty standard faire” for spatial computing, but noted that this will also serve as a platform for developers to build their own applications.
This is just one of a long list of announcements that Microsoft made as part of its virtual Ignite conference this week. It’s also updating Teams with new presentation features; introducing a new open-source, low-code language; launching a new NoSQL database offering called Azure Managed Instance for Apache Cassandra; announcing a hardware and software platform called Azure Precept and more.
The tech giants
Uber spins out delivery robot startup as Serve Robotics — Postmates X, the robotics division of the on-demand delivery startup that Uber acquired last year, has officially spun out as an independent company called Serve Robotics.
Amazon issues rare apology in India over drama series — The series, called “Tandav,” has faced criticism over its depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Apple releases results from hearing health study — Hearing loss is an issue Apple has looked to tackle, due in no small part to its growing involvement in the headphone category.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Compass files S-1, reveals $3.7B in revenue on net loss of $270M — Compass is not profitable, but it did see a massive surge in revenue over the past few years.
Vestiaire Collective raises $216M for its second-hand fashion platform — It’s a complicated industry, since you don’t want to buy a damaged item or a cheap knockoff.
Instacart raises $265M at a $39B valuation — What’s behind the massive increase in the value investors are willing to ascribe to the business? Put simply, the pandemic.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Six tips for SaaS founders who don’t want VC money — JotForm’s Aytekin Tank argues that bootstrapping is a saner, more sustainable way to build and scale a business.
Oscar Health raises IPO price as Coupang releases bullish debut valuation — IPO season is hot and investors are bothered.
Kaltura files to go public on the back of accelerating revenue growth, rising losses — The company’s revenue growth has accelerated yearly since at least 2018, and its final quarter of 2020 placed the company at a new growth rate maximum.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
MIT’s insect-sized drones are built to survive collisions — If you’re going to build something this small, you need to ensure that it doesn’t break down the first time it comes into contact with something.
Volvo to sell only all-electric vehicles by 2030 — This is part of a broader transformation of the automaker that will include shifting sales online.
Attend TechCrunch’s free virtual Miami meetup on March 11 — Even though we can’t be there physically right now, it’ll sure feel like we are.
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