News Pulse for September 15, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

SMEs could cop even higher fees if ASIC registry sale goes through

A growing number of voices are speaking out against the federal government’s proposal to privatise the corporate registry run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au), with some saying small businesses could face higher fees and a more confusing process if a sale goes through.

Journalists and commentators are against the proposed privatisation because of fears it will lead to less transparency in Australia’s business world, while campaign groups like GetUp have launched petitions against the move.

Tech start-ups take on NBN in broadband speed race

Bevan Slattery is one of a new breed of tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are capitalising on the insatiable demand for ultra high-speed broadband by offering big companies alternatives to the lumbering national broadband network.

While the Australian market is highly competitive, investors are still piling into fledgling communications infrastructure providers such as Slattery’s Superloop.

Challenging the big banks

Atlassian’s co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes jokes that he loves the famous quote from Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos: “Your margin is my opportunity.”

Bezos has created one of the world’s biggest and most successful retail giants using that approach. Atlassian’s spectacular global growth as a start-up software company from Australia shows that Cannon-Brookes has been able to adopt a similarly disruptive style.

 

HCF Invests $1m In Aged Care Start-up

Not-for-profit health fund HCF has invested $1 million into aged care tech start-up Curo Technologies.

Founded by brothers Matt and Tim McDougall, the Melbourne-based company uses sensor technology to monitor the wellbeing of elderly residents in their own home or in an assisted living environment.

Activity data is collected, analysed and reported on mobile devices to care providers and family members in real-time, with the aim being to help elderly people live independently for longer.

Katy Gallagher promoted to manager of opposition business in Senate

Former ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher has been promoted to leader of opposition business in the Senate, replacing Sam Dastyari who resigned last week after an ongoing donations scandal.

The role will pit her against manager of government business in the Senate Mitch Fifield, who she famously accused of mansplaining in a heated debate last year.

Company tax cuts to be scaled back

The Turnbull government is preparing to split its $48.7 billion company tax reform bill in order to secure an immediate gain for small employers, forcing it to shelve almost all of its core economic policy in the face of certain defeat in the Senate.

Scott MorrisonThe Hon. Scott Morrison, Federal Member for Cook Treasurer from 21.9.15 is putting his focus on tax relief for small businesses with revenue of up to $10 million a year, cooling hopes for a wider enterprise tax plan that would boost big business but has been flatly rejected by Labor, the Greens and key crossbench senators.

Retirement a far-off dream for many small business owners, study shows

A new study by MYOB shows over one third of small and medium businesses are not contributing to their superannuation, and half of those aged under 50 have done no retirement planning at all.

The study also found that small businesses believed that a comfortable retirement would cost around $1 million.

This startup wants to fix one of the most expensive and time-consuming parts of building an app

Justin Liu’s aim is simple: take a process that used to take app developers up to five days and shorten it to the time it takes to grab a coffee.

Liu’s startup, Appdiff, is launching the first automated testing platform for mobile apps on Wednesday. Appdiff’s bots test every facet of an app before it launches, cutting down the costly and time-consuming process that companies have to complete before putting their apps on the market. The software is already being used by customers like Dictionary.com and Concur.

Sydney startup Canva raises a further $20 million to “power the modern workforce”

Sydney-based graphic design startup Canva has raised a further $20 million ($US15 million) in funding as it aims take on the might of Microsoft Office.

It comes just a year after the tech company raised the same amount , and the latest capital injection also comes from the same group of investors, led by Silicon Valley-based firm Felicis Ventures and Australian VC firm Blackbird Ventures.

Perth food-sharing start-up Mondoz puts world food a click away

HAVE you ever come back from an overseas holiday craving homemade food from the place you just visited?

Jonathan Lim, 24, and Jonathan Mecque, 31, say they’ve found the answer to satisfy your tastebuds.

Launched this week, their website Mondoz connects Perth locals to a variety of cuisines including Moroccan, French, Brazilian, Malaysian and Indian.

Labor slams data retention funding “uncertainties”

The Labor Opposition has hit out at the way the Government handled grant assistance for companies falling under the remit of new data retention regulation.

Calling Attorney-General George Brandis “incompetent”, the party slammed the time it has taken to announce grant assistance for ISPs who must comply with data retention obligations.

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