Welcome back, here’s what you need to know today in tech.
1. Twice as many Australians pirated Game of Thrones than watched it legally. The first episode of the show’s sixth season only aired at lunchtime yesterday, yet more than 1 million people have pirated the episode in less than 12 hours.
TorrentFreak has estimated that Australia represented 12.5% of all torrent downloads for the episode, followed by India with 9.7%, the US with 8.5%, and the UK with 6.9%.
In comparison, around 400,000 people tuned into Foxtel yesterday to watch it.
2. Unlockd raised a fresh $15 million. The telco disrupter raised the cash from existing backers but also attracted two new big names, including Swisse Wellness CEO Radek Sali and Carsales.com.au CEO/founder Greg Roebuck.
Unlockd works by offering a discount or bonuses in exchange for ads. In Australia with its partnership with Lebrara Mobile, you can receive 2GB of extra data a month in exchange for watching ads or special deals. Sprint in the US offers a $5 monthly discount in exchange for the same thing.
3. Tesla is opening a new Australian store. It’ll be at 20 Martin Place in Sydney, the same as Apple’s Australian headquarters actually, and be over two floors.
It will be the first standalone store in Australia and will house display vehicles, a design studio and facilitate test drives from the underground carpark directly beneath the store.
In that carpark there will also be superchargers in place for existing Tesla owners to charge while in the city.
4. Wealthy Chinese investors are backing this Aussie mortgage fintech. HashChing is Australia’s first online marketplace for home-loan borrowers, giving them access to deals from verified mortgage brokers from different mortgage groups.
It aims to connect consumers to local mortgage brokers based on their deal preferences. A profile is then sent for each mortgage broker that gets their bill with ratings and reviews.
The $1 million funding from Sapien is the new fund’s first investment after it was established last year by tech entrepreneur Victor Jiang. It currently has $50 million in its purse, ready to invest in fintech and online marketplaces, with most of it coming from wealthy Chinese migrants.
5. Online flatmate finder website flatmates.com.au got bought by REA. The REA Group, the owner of realestate.com.au, is paying $25 million for flatmates.com.au so it can get a foot in the share accommodation market.
The plan is to take the Australian site international.
Flatmates, which started in 1990, is Australia’s biggest share accommodation website with an average of 2.6 million visits and more than 9 million flatmate searches a month.