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2/5/2021: What’s Going On

Twitter, PayPal and more from around the business world.
(Nopparat Khokthong)
(Nopparat Khokthong)
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“Microsoft, buoyed by the adoption of its Teams collaboration software during the pandemic, is adding several new tools to make it more useful for remote workers. The new tools, collectively known as Viva and accessed through Teams, reflect how many employees hired during the pandemic have never set foot in corporate officers. It also shows that Microsoft believes remote work will remain popular after the pandemic is over, and how it is taking steps to ensure that Teams remains relevant in the future.”

“Twitter is expanding the strategic partnership it announced with Google Cloud in 2018, moving more of its offline data processing to the market’s third-place provider while also adopting its machine learning tools. This shows how Twitter, which until a few years ago operated most of its social media service from private data centers, has decided that cloud providers can better serve certain aspects of its gargantuan computing needs. Last month, Twitter expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services to include running its real-time feed on the provider.”

“Amazon.com Inc., the company frequently cited by Democrats in their calls to raise corporate taxes, saw its tax liability jump last year as it prospered during the pandemic. But the technology giant, and others like it, could face even higher tax bills under the Biden administration’s plan for a minimum tax rate on profitable corporations. Amazon reported $1.8 billion in current U.S. tax liability for 2020, a departure from the tiny or negative tax costs it posted in prior years. The company said a surge in pretax income last year led to the sudden rise in its reported tax expense.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Frontline Ventures$83.8 MillionSeed Fund For European B2B Startups
Infinitus$21.4 MillionUsing Robotic Process Automation To Speed Up Voice Communication Between Entities In U.S. Healthcare

“PayPal is shutting down its domestic business in India, less than four years after the American giant kickstarted local operations in the world’s second largest internet market.”

“After another record quarter, Peloton has announced that it will invest more than $100 million in air and ocean freight deliveries due to ‘longer-than-acceptable wait times for the delivery of our products.’”

“Tencent Music Entertainment Group has selected banks to arrange its planned second listing in Hong Kong, which could raise as much as $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.”

A vaccine jointly developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca worked against a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus first spotted in the U.K. in a clinical trial, the university said Friday. The vaccine’s effectiveness against the U.K. variant was estimated to be 75%, compared with 84% for older variants.

“New York Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky filed for two more special purpose acquisition companies Thursday–Northern Star Investment Corp. III and IV, each seeking a $300 million initial public offering.”

“Alex Rodriguez has filed for a $500 million IPO through a special purpose acquisition company named Slam Corp.”

Shares in GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. rebounded in premarket trading after Robinhood Markets Inc. removed limits on buying the two stocks, which have been at the center of the battle between Reddit-empowered retail traders and short-sellers.

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