News Pulse for March 1, 2018

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

Let’s Talk… Disruption

Industries left, right and centre are being infiltrated by tech-driven startups willing to address prevailing inefficiencies and achieve a superior customer experience. Against this backdrop, many incumbents are realising that unless they ride the wave of disruption, they’ll by swept away with the status quo.

This week, for our exclusive “Let’s Talk…” feature examining disruption, we asked 17 thought leaders to discuss the industries they feel are riddled with inefficiencies.

Tax breaks drew $300 million in investment for Australian startups in a single year

More than 3000 investors poured around $300 million into Australian startups in a single year under new Coalition tax incentives designed to encourage financial support for innovative companies.

Treasury data seen by Business Insider shows an estimated $300 million was invested in 340 “early stage” companies in the 2016-17 tax year.

Data61 calls for new government funds to support SMBs and workers

Leaders from the country’s digital and data innovation group, Data61, have called on the federal government to introduce two new funds to help build up the resilience of local businesses and workers to the threats of global tech giants.

There should be more incentives, such as tax cuts, to high-growth companies, to boost the investment in research and development. according to the chief executive of Data61, pointing out that Amazon spent more on digital R&D than all Australian companies combined.

SMEs not aware of their finance options

While small and medium sized businesses usually have access to different types of finance, many of them are not aware of their options.

This is the main issue specialist lender Scottish Pacific has encountered in its lending business for Australian SMEs.

Fintechs make big promises to SMEs to simplify lending terms

Australian fintech lenders have committed to creating an industry code of conduct and introducing easy to understand contract summaries, after an inquiry led by the small business ombudsman found the growing sector has more work to do on transparency.

The report into transparency and disclosure practices of fintechs comes after months of investigation by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell, Fintech Australia and independent banking expert and founder of, Neil Slonim.

Fintech Code of Conduct recommended by report into best-practice for SME lenders

A report outlining steps being taken by fintech lenders to increase transparency and disclosure has been released by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, in partnership with FinTech Australia and

The report,  Fintech lending to small and medium sized enterprises: Improving transparency and disclosure , looks at the different approaches to disclosure across the fintech industry, makes recommendations on best practice and identifies commitments to action. Items for action in the report include:

BrickX and Data Republic are the latest fintechs to score investment deals with Australia’s big banks

Two more venture capital deals have been announced between major Australian banks and fintech startups this week — part of a broader trend as banks seek more deals in the space.

NAB’s venture capital arm NAB Ventures has partnered with property investment startup BrickX, following an investment by ANZ in data-security company Data Republic.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.


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