Welcome to Wednesday – here are the must-read tech stories this morning:
1. Seven startups have entered the H2 fintech accelerator in Sydney. The new class includes a “social sports trading game” and an on-demand service for chef-made cuisine, which are not necessarily in the traditional fintech genre. Read H2’s reasons behind the diversification and more.
2. Lady Gaga’s Australian startup has just released an internet of things system that can help users cut utility bills for large buildings. The Sydney launch heard that ASX-listed Buddy Platform had already won over Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre with its new Buddy Ohm system, which harvests data from IoT sensors for monitoring and analysis. Read more here.
3. Apple paid $36 million from its New Zealand arm to the Australian Taxation Office, while paying nothing to the Kiwi equivalent for 10 years. The news follows reports in January that Apple Australia copped a 97% fall in net profit last year due to tax “adjustments” for previous years after additional scrutiny from ATO. Read more on the bizarre revelation out of New Zealand.
4. Meanwhile, (Australian) treasurer Scott Morrison is claiming a win against Facebook and Google. AAP reports Morrison bragging in parliament that Facebook is now recording its revenue in Australia rather than Ireland and that Google had also “changed their arrangements”.
5. Salesforce, the software-as-a-service provider used by many startups and traditional businesses, has announced that it would open Australia-hosted services this year. CRN reports the announcement was made by the CFO Mark Hawkins at the company’s annual customer conference in Sydney yesterday, and would involve offering Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, App Cloud, Community Cloud and Analytics Cloud out of Amazon’s Sydney data centre.
BONUS: Apple unexpectedly put out a bunch of new products this morning – without the usual fanfare. The tech giant quietly rolled out a new budget iPad and special edition (RED) iPhone7 and iPhone7 Plus handsets, for which proceeds will go to AIDS research. Read more on each of the new releases here.