5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

DesignCrowd founder Alec Lynch.

Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.

1. DesignCrowd has bagged another $6 million in funding. AirTree Ventures led the round investing $4 million into the crowdsourced design platform. DesignCrowd has now raised a total of $12 million since it launched in 2008. More here.

2. Webjet now accepts bitcoin! It’s the first travel agency to accept the cryptocurrency in Australia. While the option is only available on the Webjet Exclusives page for now, but the company is considering rolling it out across its other products, including flights, accommodation and travel insurance.

3. Tony Abbott has renewed his push for crime-fighting data retention laws. He’s also tried to explain what it all means again: “Essentially metadata is data about data.” The PM said the legislation was required to keep up with tech developments. Full story is here.

4. Apple and Google have defended the amount of tax they pay in Australia. Apple paid $80.3 million in tax last year despite generating revenue of about $6 billion in Australia. Both tech companies also said they pay million in corporate, fringe benefits and payroll tax. Google hasn’t disclosed how much tax it pays in Australia but according to a report in The Australian it said: “technology companies are commonly, and incorrectly, singled out during tax debates due to their digital ­nature.”

5. Sydney-based company Employment Innovations has raised $US4 million ($AU5.1 million) in debt funding from US based Partners for Growth. The startup will use the funds to build out its cloud-based recruitment, HR and payroll platform, Employment Hero.

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