5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Airtasker ad. (Source: Facebook)

Here’s what’s happening today:

1. AirTasker just raised $33 million and will open a London office. Founder and chief Tim Fung said, as a high-density city, London has huge potential and some of his staff in Australia will mover over there to kick off the local operations. The company has appointed former Virgin StartUp exec Lucas London as its UK country manager. This all comes on the back of a big year which saw AirTasker grow to 1.7 million users and partner with just about everyone – eBay, IKEA, CommBank and Australia Post, to name a few.

2. Australian startup Spacer just bought out a rival after raising $2.7 million. The space marketplace has acquired parking space exchange Parkhound – a business that last year rejected capital from the judges of Ten Network’s Shark Tank television show. Read more here.

3. Australia Post is taking Amazon head-on with a “free” delivery service. The postal service has launched Shipster, which allows customers to pay a fixed subscription to get free shipping from a range of retailers – similar to the way Amazon Prime works. Read more here.

4. Optus has been knocked off its broadband speed throne after two years. The latest Netflix rankings for the six major Australian broadband retailers showed independent provider Exetel grabbing Optus crown as number one. Meanwhile, Telstra showed a big performance leap to relinquish the wooden spoon for the first time in the survey’s history. Check out the rankings here.

5. Westpac has increased its stake in digital mortgage startup Uno. The AFR reports an extra $5 million has been put in, taking the ownership by Westpac to 92%. Founder and chief Vincent Turner insists the close relationship does not compromise the fintech’s independence.

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