Let’s kick off a fresh week of tech news.
1. Successful fashion startup Showpo was so sick of people telling it to sell men’s wear that it pretended it did as an April Fools prank. Founder Jane Lu told Business Insider about how it created fake a social media profile and a whole new website for its “Showbro” brand, with Freelancer and social media influencers all in on the the joke.
2. Online retail marketplace MyDeal.com.au has scored a $5 million investment round, funded entirely by the son of Australia’s 5th richest man. Tony Gandel’s Gandel Invest has put up the cash as well as invaluable access to its retail industry connections to allow the startup to grow to the next level. Read more here.
3. ANZ will use voice recognition to authorise customers to make large payments on their mobile phones. Until now, payments over $1000 could only be performed on desktop internet banking or physically in branches – but from the middle of this year voice biometrics can be used to do them on the mobile app, which the bank claims is “five to ten times” more secure than fingerprinting. Read more here.
4. ASX-listed dark fibre provider Superloop is in a trading halt, with an acquisition anticipated this week. CRN reports Bevan Slattery’s network infrastructure outfit made waves after buying up wireless services firm BigAir last year, as well as APEX Networks and Cinenet Systems in 2015.
5. The sharing economy in Australia’s most populous state expanded by a $1 billion last year. Deloitte Access Economics research showed revenue from services like Uber, AirBnB and Airtasker in NSW jumped from $1.6 billion in the 2015 financial year to $2.6 billion in 2016.Sydney is even in the top 5 markets globally for AirBnB.