5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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Hello, this is what you need to know in tech.

1. We asked the founder of this billion dollar tech company for fundraising tips. Zuora is one of the world’s leaders in delivering software-as-a-service (Saas) for the subscription economy, founded 8 years ago by former Salesforce executive Tien Tzuo.

The company has since raised over $US250 million in capital, with a total valuation of around $US1 billion. This has included a $US6.5 million series A in 2008 all the way to a $115 million series F in May last year lead by Silicon Valley heavyweights BlackRock.

Here’s Tzuo’s advice for startups looking to raise money.

2. AGL’s boss says energy storage batteries will change the world. AGL Energy chief executive Andy Vesey said yesterday that battery advances will “change the world” of energy investment in the short term, with a significant impact on both businesses and individual consumers.

Speaking at a lunch in Sydney yesterday, Vesey said AGL was expecting a 60% reduction in the cost of batteries over the next five years, while performance expected to improve as more money is poured into research and development of the science and technology underpinning it.

3. We have a list of Australia’s hottest startups. The Australian economy is transitioning — as the mining investment boom comes to the end, the dollar weakens and technology brings down ever more barriers.

There are thousands of small businesses across the country, tackling innumerable industries, contributing significantly to future growth and employing a plurality of Australians.

This isn’t a definitive list of Australian startups, but for various reasons they are all ones to watch.

4. How Jessica Alba inspired a big change at Atlassian. Jira was the first and is still the most popular product from Australian tech darling Atlassian. But there was one key thing that was missing, and it took Jessica Alba pointing it out at a Salesforce event for change to happen.

She said “I do not know how to code, but I can open a ticket in Jira.”

For Cameron Deatsch, Atlassian’s head of growth, Alba’s comments lit a fire under his and the company’s posteriors to get an app out the door — maybe programmers spend all day in front of their computers, but she probably doesn’t. And neither do any of Atlassian’s much-desired non-technical users.

“If Jessica Alba is submitting a Jira ticket, I assume she wants to do it on mobile,” says Deatsch.

5. Twitter has changed its 140-character rules. Twitter has confirmed plans to exclude photos, videos and @names from its 140-character tweet limit, giving users more freedom to write longer messages.

The social media platform, founded in San Francisco in 2006, said on Tuesday that the changes will be made in “the coming months”, adding that they will make conversations faster and more intuitive. Under the incoming changes, Twitter users will also be able to retweet and quote tweet themselves, allowing people to resurface their previous Tweets and add new commentary to them.

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