Welcome to Tuesday! Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.
1. There are reports flying around that Google plans to compete with Uber by establishing its own on-demand car service. Uber executives have reportedly seen screenshots of what appears to be Google’s ride-hailing app and according to sources are “deeply concerned” about the possibility of Google using its self-driving cars to pick up and drop off passengers. But it gets better: Google Ventures has invested $US258 million in Uber and Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, has been on the company’s board of directors since 2013. What’s more, there are also reports Uber is building a robotics research lab in Pennsylvania to “kickstart autonomous taxi fleet development”.
2. Telstra has a new tech boss. The telco has promoted head of cloud services, Erez Yarkoni, to chief information officer after Patrick Eltridge quit last year. Telstra has had a huge 12 months investing in tech companies across the world including upping its stake in video service Ooyala to 98% in a deal worth $270 million.
3.Tech IPO. Mobile marketing platform OtherLevels – an Aussie firm head quartered in San Fran – is considering a potential listing on the ASX this year. The startup, which is backed by Steve Baxter is also opening a new global development centre in Brisbane.
4. Crowdfunding adoption. The Murray Inquiry into Australia’s financial system recommended a well developed crowdfunding system in Australia can drive innovation and competition as well as give startups more funding options. There’s a report in the AFR today that it could be the first recommendation to be adopted by the federal government.
5. Crowdfunding in action. Queensland-based startup Dillenger Electric Bicycles smashed its crowdfunding target of $30,000 to raise more than $130,000 in 15 days on Kickstarter. The company wants to create an affordable electric bike. The campaign still 24 days to run.
Have an awesome day! I’m on Twitter. @alexandraheber