It’s Thursday. Overnight in tech Uber got another $1 billion from investors, the Dutch startup WeTransfer, which this week secured $US25 million in funding, now wants to team up with GoPro as it expands into the US and Airbnb paid “tens of millions” in owed hotel taxes and penalties to the city of San Francisco.
Here’s what’s happening in Australian tech.
1. Joe Hockey’s red tape review is taking on the digital economy, and calling in tech CEOs to help. There’s a special Productivity Commission meeting in Melbourne today to discuss the challenges facing companies in the sector. Expected to be in atendance are reps from Uber and AirBnB as well as Freelancer CEO Matt Barrie, Tyro boss Jost Stollmann and Stuart Stoyan, chief executive of P2P lending company MoneyPlace. Full story, including what they’re expected to chat about is here.
2. The staff at some of Australia’s biggest tech successes will get nothing from the government’s startup share scheme changes because the companies they work for either have a turnover of more than $50 million, are listed on the market or are more than 10 years old. Campaign Monitor issued shares to its employees in December and footed the tax bill on their behalf. More here.
3. Here’s why, when it comes to valuing Australian startups, the government needs to nail it. The issue around how a startup’s valuation will be handled under the Australian federal government’s proposed Employee Share Scheme could make it either inaccessible to fledgling companies or potentially create a gravy train for advisors and accountants valuing the companies.
4. Netflix competitor Stan expects to hit 100,000 subscribers by next month. Pretty decent take up considering the service only launched on January 26. More here.
5. iiNet, one of Australia’s largest ISPs, has posted a first half net profit of $32 million. The result was pretty flat and didn’t meet some analyst expectations. Shares were down 9% in early trade. iiNet CEO David Buckingham said in the first six months of FY15 the company acquired 25,000 new broadband customers. The company, which launched on the west coast, is now focused on growing its footprint across Australia’s eastern seaboard. More here.
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