5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Marina and The Diamonds perform at the Sonos Studio in Los Angeles. Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Pandora

Welcome to Thursday! Here are the must-read stories this morning:

1. Here’s where the startup sector currently stands. Startup Muster legends Monica Wulff and Murray Hurps have been talking to everyone in the sector to produce their annual deep dive report on the local industry. Yes, founders are overwhelmingly male, Australian, aged 35-40, and a quarter have a day job outside of their project. Oh, and nearly half had no revenue in their first year. All the details from this important snapshot are here.

2. Don’t be startled if your speaker starts talking to you. High-end manufacturer Sonos has announced that Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, will be integrated into its smart speakers later this year via a software update, meaning anyone who already has the company’s products will also benefit. Read more on the David Bowie demonstration that Business Insider saw this morning.

3. Australian banks have been challenged on their slowness to adopt “regtech”. An ASIC roundtable yesterday saw industry experts call on traditional financial institutions to look at partnering with regulation technology startups, reports the AFR, to save “millions of dollars” on their legal bills, create new revenue and turn compliance into proactive risk management.

4. A printed gazette for sports nuts has turned into an electronic startup. Startup Daily reports that Sportsyear Engine — an interactive internet version of a newsletter that started in 2003 – is about to launch. The service allows users to compile a calendar of sporting events to follow, based on preferences for certain sports and tournaments.

5. A senate committee will investigate Centrelink’s data matching practices. The agency’s big data project has resulted in controversy due to a lack of manual checks and the amount of inaccurate notices of debt — and while the coalition government has held firm, iTnews reports that Labor and the Greens have managed to secure a motion for the community affairs references committee to take a look.

BONUS ITEM: Herd mentality is alive and well among tech share traders. A company called Snap Interactive saw its shares spike 164% in value upon news last week that the more famous Snapchat Inc was putting out an IPO. As well as being the wrong company (excellent due diligence there), you have to ask why investors thought shares were already publicly available for a firm heading to an IPO? Read more on the phenomenon here.

Have a great day! Please email me your story tips or find me on Twitter.

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