It’s been another busy 24 hours in Australian tech, so we have six stories to finish off your week:
1. Go Aussie go. A KPMG report shows that Australia’s fintech startup sector attracted growth in investment in 2016, as opposed to the rest of the world, where it slumped. Globally fintech copped a 47.2% shrinkage in investments, while Australia went from $185 million in 2015 to $656 million last year. Read more on the contrast.
2. ‘Buy now, pay later’ startup Afterpay and payments tech provider Touchcorp have agreed to merge. The new ASX-listed company, to be called NewCo, combines two entities that have a total market capitalisation of more than $350 million. Read more on the blockbuster deal.
3. A government agency nabbed Cate Blanchett as the voice of its new digital assistant. The National Disability Insurance Scheme has launched a virtual assistant named Nadia, which features the voice of the Oscar award-winning actress and an expressive avatar designed to aid communication to customers of varied disabilities. Read more on the very personal reasons that made the Hollywood star get involved.
4. A Sydney startup that somehow managed to convince Uber to partner with it has secured $3 million in funding. Startup Smart reports Splend, a service that hires out cars to people that want to drive for Uber, has attracted Investec as an equity partner. The money will be used to ramp up the current fleet of 1,300 to 4,000 in Australia, as well as take on overseas Uber markets.
5. Georgia Beattie worked so hard on her startup that she ended up running the business from a hospital bed after a physical breakdown. Now, as the chief of Startup Victoria, she has kicked off a new hotline to assist struggling startup entrepreneurs. Read more here.
6. These days most resumes don’t even make it to a pair of human eyes. But job search company Adzuna is now offering to “beat the system” with a new tool that processes your CV with the same algorithms that auto-screener software do. Read more on the feature here.