5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Image Alphatise / Twitter.

It’s Wednesday. Here’s what’s happened Australian tech so far.

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1. Fast fail. The collapse of Australian e-commerce startup Alphatise was one of the more recent spectacular fails within the country’s sector. Alphatise launched last year, attracting a flurry of media coverage with its big visions and PR stunts, including offering “the world’s best internship” and hijacking the iPhone 6 launch in Sydney. But earlier this month the company entered voluntary administration. Here’s the inside story of the collapse of Alphatise.

2. Cash burn can kill a startup. One of the lessons startups can learn from the fall of Alphatise is just because you raise money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. And while it is recognised that many of the costs of building a tech company are front loaded, watching spend is something that can’t be ignored. Y Combinator president Sam Altman stressed this morning how important it is to run a lean operation in the early days.

Alphatise’s historic profit and loss is here.

3. Tax cuts for startups! There’s a report in the AFR this morning that the Federal Government is planning on extending tax cuts to all small businesses in the May budget. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson also said the new employee share scheme legislation, which will come into play on July 1, will be more streamlined. Startups have been concerned that a complicated system would force them to hire lawyers, accountants and consultants in order to navigate the system – a cost young companies wish to avoid. Billson agreed: “We want as few hurdles as possible to people wanting to embrace employee share schemes.” The legislation is due to be introduced to parliament today.

4. At $79 billion, if Australia’s digital economy was an industry, it would be bigger than retail or agriculture. A new Deloitte report, commissioned by Google and released today, estimates Australia’s digital economy will experience rapid growth, reaching $139 billion or 7.3% of GDP by 2020. Google Australia boss Maile Carnegie said: “It is absolutely the thoroughbred that, as a country, we should be jumping on and riding as hard as we can.” More here.

5. Freelancer has finalised its second acquisition this month. This time it has bought Spanish freelance job marketplace Projectlinkr using existing cash reserves to close the deal. Two weeks ago the platform bought out Israeli job aggregator DoNanza.

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