Welcome to Thursday. Here are the top tech stories for today:
1. The first-ever Australian fintech industry awards were handed out last night. FinTech Australia’s new night of nights saw Afterpay take organisation of the year, Proviso Data nab three specialty awards and AgriDigital chief Emma Weston win both emerging fintech leader and female fintech leader of the year. Read more on the winners.
2. Unlockd has raised $30.8 million in a series B round. The investment was led by a Malaysian telco, which is handy because the mobile ad tech startup is hungry for Asian markets. In April, Unlockd even recruited the woman that set up Twitter’s Asian operations in preparation for the cash injection and expansion. Read more here on one of the biggest capital raises by an Australian startup this year.
3. “Buy now, pay later” fintech ZipMoney has secured a $260 million debt facility led by National Australia Bank. Just 18 months ago the startup was forced to turn to a US asset manager for a $100 million facility but now the big banks are apparently paying fintechs due respect. Read more on Australia’s largest deal of its kind.
4. AirTree Ventures has recruited the executive responsible for Google Photos. Anil Sabharwal will continue as Google vice president of product but will move back to Australia to mentor local startups in his new role. Read more on what motivated him to join AirTree.
5. National Transport Commission and AustRoads has published a guideline for autonomous vehicle testing in Australia. iTnews reports the framework sets out how such cars can be trialled on public roads, and how companies can seek exemptions from permits and requirements such as Australian design rules for testing purposes.
Bonus: A Sydney chicken shop has created its own digital wallet, so that you don’t need to any cash or card to buy a meal. Chargrill Charlie’s says all you need to do is say “I’m paying with the app” for the magic to happen. Read more here.