5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

It’s Friday, and two more sleeps to Valentine’s Day. Here’s what’s happening in Australian tech today.

1. There are two cracker new mobile phones deals available from today from Virgin Mobile and Kogan. Just in case you needed to save a few bucks after this weekend, Virgin is offering new customers on BYO device plans 12GB of data per month for $50. This compares to 10GB at that price point on Optus, 10GB on Vodafone and Telstra’s offering 10GB for $60 a month.

Kogan’s savings are even more extreme, offering prepaid plans with 3GB of data for $8.95 a month and 5GB for $10.95 a month, both with unlimited calls and texts. However, the plans are only on Vodafone’s 3G network which might be a problem for some.

2. Yes, there’s a new streaming service just for reality TV shows. It’s called Hayu and launching in Australia next month from NBCUniversal. It’ll set you back $5.99 a month and will include over 3000 episodes of reality TV, with shows including “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, “Real Housewives” and “Made in Chelsea”. They’re aiming to add further 500 episodes each year.

3. E-Commerce startup Marketplacer is launching a new ticketing service. It’s going to be called Tixster and will feature experiences no other ticketing service can offer according to Marketplacer co-founder Jason Wyatt, including flipping a coin before an AFL match or playing golf on Augusta in America. There’s no set date for the launch of Tixster other than “soon”.

4. A new bill passed the lower house yesterday for to make crowdfunding startups easier.
The new legislation will allow unlisted public companies to raise money through crowdfunding from mum and dad investors.

The bill faced heavy criticism from the opposition and will allow unlisted public companies with less than $5 million in assets and turnover to raise up to $5 million through crowdfunding each year.

A similar framework exists in the USA, UK and New Zealand but nothing of the like is available locally.

5. A Microsoft and Lady Gaga backed tech company is setting up an Adelaide office. Buddy Platform, a Seattle-based tech firm which provides data storage and analysis for connected devices and sensors found in cars, light bulbs and washing machine wants is setting up in Australia and looking for software engineers.

The company’s founder David McLauchlan was born and raised in Adelaide before moving to Seattle and getting a job at Microsoft.

The company listed on the ASX on December 29 for $0.16 a share and is currently trading at $0.15.

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