5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

One month on Acorns and this is basically me now. Picture: Getty Images

It’s the end of the week and this is what you need to know in tech.

1. Dick Smith is selling off its customer database. Trying to recoup as much revenue as possible, Dick Smith receiver Ferrier Hodgson is trying to sell the retailer’s customer database. The listing for “urgent expressions of interest” on Ferrier Hodgson’s website features intellectual property assets including customer details, its brand and trademark as well as web properties.

Customer details include names, addresses, contact details, age, genders and some customers’ proof of ID such as drivers licence and passport numbers.

Interested buyers have until the end of today to submit their interest.

2. I tried out Acorns and now I’m interested in the stock market. Acorns, the spare-change investment app, launched in Australia just three weeks ago, and by Thursday the fintech startup announced it had more than 50,000 local signups, exceeding the comparative growth rate when it launched in the US.

I’ve been trying it over the last month, and so far have made nearly 3% return on investment in just that short time. More importantly, it has made a young person such as myself interested in the stock market.

3. Uber is emailing Victorians to get their support in Parliament. UberX is still not legal in Victoria and the taxi industry is fighting harder than ever against it, so now Uber is asking for Victorians to help it lobby. Here’s what they’ve sent, and see if you can spot the typo:

4. Australian universities are rallying for a ‘Silicon Harbour’ in Sydney. A consortium of Australia unit are teaming up with the CSIRO in a bid to shape a Sydney-based tech hub. They’re a part of 13 proposals from Australia and overseas that have been submitted to UrbanGrowth, the government agency in charge of the redevelopment of the former coal-fired White Bay Power Station.

The redevelopment of the former coal-fired station was an extraordinary opportunity for Australian universities, a University of Sydney spokeswoman said.

“Universities are a vital part of the innovation ecosystem that is essential to foster in order to achieve the bold agenda that has been set by the federal and NSW governments,” she said.

5. Another Australian fintech startup has been bought. ASX-listed Pioneer Credit has acquired mortgage broking innovator switchmyloan.com.au for an undisclosed sum, the third Australian fintech buyout in as many days.

Switch, founded in 2013, is a disrupter of traditional brokering and has agreements with 19 financiers, including all of Australia’s major banks.

Pioneer Credit says the acquisition is an important part of the company’s expansion into the mortgage brokering sector, following the launch last month of a full-service broker offering.

“Pioneer Credit’s mortgage brokering service is all about providing value based options to our customers,” says managing director Keith John.

Have a great weekend!

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