Happy Friday! Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.
1. Telstra’s CEO David Thodey has resigned. This morning Thodey announced he would be stepping down from the top job after six years in the position. He will be replaced by the telco’s CFO Andrew Penn. During his time at Telstra he doubled the value of the company from below $40 billion to above $80 billion with Thodey in charge. His will officially step down at the end of May.
2. Tyro is launching a co-working space for disruptive fintech startups taking on the big banks. The payments company, which has raised a total of $33 million in the past 11 years and has Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes on its board, has this week opened applications for startups to secure a position in the space in its Clarence Street office in the Sydney CBD. There’s 125 seats spanning an entire floor. The first company to secure a spot is Lend2Fund, which is establishing a marketplace for sophisticated investors.
3. Xero was issued a “speeding ticket” by the NZX after its shares exploded. The New Zealand Stock Exchange lodged a price enquiry following the share price jump which was up another 10.5% on the ASX yesterday to $18.78. After looking into the company’s share register the NZX found Xero had complied with its continuous disclosure obligations. Xero’s CEO Rod Drury said the presentations at Xerocon in the UK and roadshows in Australia this week could be behind the spike.
4. Business Insider visited the coffee shop that just raised $US15 million from tech investors to see what all the fuss was about. Philz Coffee, a San Francisco coffee shop chain, recently secured a $US15 million Series B funding round led by Summit Partners, which has invested in Uber, Belkin, and Arista. The result? “Unlike any coffee I’d ever had.” So while there’s no obvious tech angle, Philz investors see an opportunity to take on the premium coffee market currently lacking in the US.
5. Apple wants to be selling electric cars in five years. The tech giant reportedly has 200 people currently working on the project and plans to start making its eco-friendly vehicles as soon as 2020. According to Bloomberg, the project is being led by former Ford engineer and head of iPhone and iPod development, Steve Zadesky.
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BONUS ITEM: BlueChilli is turning up the dial on its push for regulatory reform to helps early stage startups and de-risking the investment for founders. The company wants to see incentives through the tax system to ensure that disruptive ideas, which challenge the regulatory framework, have the opportunity to get funded by local investors. The new-found motivation comes after it sat down at the Productivity Commission’s Roundtable on new business models and the digital economy yesterday.