5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

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The governor of Victoria, Linda Dessau, on top of the BajaBoard, with co-founder George Li (right). Photo: supplied.

1. MYOB’s done its own books. And they look pretty good compared to the prospectus forecasts. The ASX-listed accounting software business beat revenue expectations from its prospectus for the first half of 2016 by $4.3m to book $178.3 million. And EBITDA was $200k higher too at $82 million, while net profit after tax and amortisation was up 2% on the forecast to $45.7 million.

SME paying users were up 8% to 570,000 and the company says it expects revenue growth for the rest of 2016 to be in line with historical trends. The MYOB board declared a dividend for the half year of 5.5 cents a share.

2. Pizza’d as bro Damned Kiwis. They beat us at rugby, per capita Olympic medals, and now pizza delivery by drone.

Domino’s Pizza and Flirtey are claiming to have launched the world’s first commercial drone delivery service in a trial in New Zealand’s capital, Auckland. More trails are scheduled for later this year when daylight savings starts and Domino’s is looking at opportunities for drone delivery trials in its six other markets — Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

3. Collaboration is the new growth strategy. Australian rental website Rent.com.au, which launched nine years ago, has signed a partnership deal with holiday rental site Airbnb, suggesting potential renters can now “test drive” a suburb with a short stay before they move in. CEO Greg Bader says it’s the first of several partnering agreements his company plans to sign, adding that one of Airbnb’s key strengths is that the places it lists are the same heartland where people actually live. There are more details here.


4. Thar’s gold in them there guvments
Two Melbourne startups have scored more than $500,000 from the federal government’s Accelerating Commercialisation program. BajaBoard and Cadmus are among 20 businesses offered $11.3 million in Entrepreneurs’ Program grants to help them break into new and international markets. The grants range from $213,000 to $1 million and are matched dollar-for-dollar by the recipients. Cadmus secured $249,845, having applied for the dosh in May, and BajaBoard $264,643 having asked in April. The two businesses are graduates of the Melbourne Accelerator Program.

Cadmus was founded by Herk Kailis and Robbie Russo in 2014, and is currently trialling anti-cheating software with the University of Melbourne, with the University of Sydney, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology giving it a good shortly (take note undergraduates reading this).

BajaBoard, co-founded by George Li and James Murphy, is like a giant, motorised skateboard – an all-terrain electric buggy that can travel at up to 55km/h with a 30km range. It’s designed to travel over rough terrain thanks to some serious shock absorbers. The company wants to get a commercial version, priced between $3,500 and $6,000 to market in April next year.

Li, who’s also GM, told us that the BajaBoard was invented by Murphy to handle off-road terrains, and the fact that the majority of electric skateboards are not street legal in Australia, meant “the only place you can legitimately ride these things are private properties, farms, some parklands and some 4×4 tracks”.

5. The future is now in home energy. You may remember last month we spoke to energy startup Mojo about how it dreams of one day becoming a distributed generation company, via a network of homes whose batteries feed into the grid to power other homes. Well, another start-up, Evergen, is helping make that happen launching Australia’s first intelligent home energy management system using a smartphone app.

The system, built with the technical backing of Australia’s peak science group CSIRO, continuously analyses and optimises home energy use, choosing the most efficient source for electricity supply, switching from solar to stored power. The system, combining solar panels and batteries with smart technology, is remotely managed by Evergen and regularly analysed and updated by CSIRO. Chris Pash has all the details here.

Enjoy the day. Find me on Twitter at @simonthomsen.

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