5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Xerocon in Melbourne. Supplied.

Welcome to Thursday and the top tech news this morning:

1. Here’s how to build a successful public tech company from scratch. Eleven years ago, Xero had no product as it listed at $NZ1 a share. Now, the company is raking in $NZ290 million of revenue a year, has one million subscribers, and its early staff are rich with the share price at $NZ27. Read about the journey that took them to the top.

2. Xero revealed it has spent more than $1 billion building the global accounting platform, fuelled by capital raisings in excess of $400 million. Founder and CEO Rod Drury said at his keynote at Xerocon that “going large” was a deliberate strategy, as internet-based tech companies had to be global-scale to survive. He also announced a range of product changes, while the Australian arm of the accounting software firm reported half of all small businesses in the country are running in the red.

3. Telco Vocus is facing a lawsuit from disgruntled shareholders. Law firm Slater & Gordon and funding body Investor Claim Partner is bringing on the class action on behalf of people that bought Vocus shares between November 2016 and May 2017, accusing the company of misleading conduct before downgrading its profit guidance. Read more.

4. There is a new Australian space race. InnovationAus.com reports competition between Australian states and territories is “heating up”, as they try to convince the federal government to build the new national space agency on their turf.

5. The Trump administration has ordered a purge of cybersecurity software supplied by Russian tech firm Kaspersky. Reuters reports the White House cited the software company’s vulnerability to Kremlin influence and how the use of its products by US government departments could put national security at risk. The company, in response, says “no credible evidence” of such influence has been presented publicly by anyone.

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