5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull during House of Representatives question time at Parliament House. Photo: Stefan Postles/ Getty.

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

1. Malcolm Turnbull has acknowledged later stage startup investment rounds are pretty much vacant in Australia and it’s holding the ecosystem back. He told the Australian: “I think there’s plenty of seed capital from individuals, financial investors and so forth. It is getting to that next stage, when you want to raise not a million dollars but you want to raise 10, or 15, or 20, or 30, that is a challenge,” he said.

“That’s where there is still a big gap in the market here. But it is starting to be filled. There are ­billions of dollars in the VC Limited Partnerships that have got special tax concessions that have been established, and there is money in the market.”

2. More than 300,000 have signed up for Netflix competitor Stan. In Fairfax Media’s annual results released today, the numbers show Stan on track to have 300,000 to 400,000 active subscribers by the end of this year. A recent note by Citi media analyst Justin Diddams estimates Netflix’s penetration is already five times higher than Stan. But Stan has a plan to fight back which you can read all about here.

3. Telstra’s full year profits slide to $4.2 billion. Telstra added 664,000 retail mobile customer services to 16.7 million and 189,000 retail fixed broadband customers over the year to the end of June. It has some big projects in the works including spending $5 billion over the next three years to extend 4G to 99% of the Australian populations, to cope with an explosion in video and to maintain its leadership position on mobile.

The telco has made a bunch of acquisitions in the past 18 months as it builds out its tech offering particularly around video and health. Its Telstra Health division has finalised 15 acquisitions and investments in the past year-and-a-half. This chart shows the extent of it.

More here.

4. A corporate lawyer who quit for an online retail startup thinks early stage VC funding is a waste of time. The founder of online retail outlet the Daily Edit thinks raising funds isn’t what startups should be focussed on. No doubt there are a lot of people who would disagree with her, arguing startups need cash to extend their runway and test their product or idea. Full story is here.

5. People streamed over one trillion songs in the first half of this year — 1,032,225,905,640 to be exact. Apple finally launched its Apple Music streaming service this year, plus there’s Pandora, Rdio and Spotify. The question is no longer “if” streaming will dominate, but which streaming service will prevail. More here.

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