5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket launching from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. (Source: Rocket Lab)

Welcome to another week:

1. Australia has entered the space race. The federal government this morning announced the establishment of the country’s first-ever space agency, despite a review into its viability not being completed yet. The review group’s focus now pivots to creating a charter for the new agency. Australian tech figures are thrilled by the government backing for the industry, which has enormous economic potential.

2. Sydney fintech RateSetter just raised $10.5 million. The peer-to-peer lender’s capital raising round was led by $8.5 million from Five V Capital, with the VC’s boss, Adrian Mackenzie, to join the startup’s board. The platform lent more than $12 million in August, up 114% on the same time last year. Read more on how it has 15 times more lenders than its nearest rival.

3. South Australia just beat NSW to be the first state in Australia to have digital driver licences. iTnews reports new licences will be given out electronically through the mySA GOV app from October, a full month before NSW rolls out the same concept. South Australians will then be able to use the app for police checks and age verification.

4. IRESS has bought a stake into regtech firm Lucsan in a $2 million deal. The AFR reports IRESS, which is a software firm with a $2 billion market cap and 19% owned by the ASX, bought into Lucsan, which produces data analytics tools to help customers meet regulatory compliance requirements.

5. London banned Uber over the weekend. While Uber is negotiating with transport authorities to get its service back on the road, 634,000 signatures have appeared on a public petition to make the ridesharing app legal again in the UK capital. Read more here.

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