News Pulse for November 7, 2017

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

Oracle to target smaller customers with new Aussie hub

US tech giant Oracle will open up a so-called digital hub in Sydney, targeting small and medium-sized clients as it tries to ward off the advances of younger cloud native rivals like Workday.

The sales hubs were first flagged by local Oracle boss Rob Willis late last year, and involved the hiring of about 200 new “digital sales” roles.

Small business and consumers big winners today | The Hon Michael McCormack MP

SMALL business and consumers are big winners today as the Turnbull Government’s competition laws commenced, creating a level playing field and greater protections to balance the small business to big business market relationship, Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack says.

Mr McCormack said the reforms are a great outcome not only for small business but also for Australian consumers as the reforms will ensure increased choice and better services in the market place.

SMEs take a hit on profits from Melbourne Cup betting splurge, says Xero

The Melbourne Cup to be run tomorrow is likely to have a negative impact on Australia’s small businesses, with SMEs taking a hit to their profits as punters spend money on race events and celebrations, according to accounting software company Xero.

According to Xero, the number of small businesses with positive cash flow – “an indication of profitability” on Melbourne Cup Day – has been on the decline since 2014.

Sharing crowd with tradition

Crowd-funding is picking up steam in Australia, but for one platform, Sharequity, collaboration rather than competition may hold the key to the trend’s long-term viability in the local market.

Founded by former APAC chief operating officer of GMP Securities Asia-Pacific, Geoff Reilly, Sharequity is the latest in a growing crop of platforms looking to capitalise on the enthusiasm around crowd-funding. However, Sharequity is looking to carve out a different niche for itself.

Debt payment start-up Credit Clear poaches OpenPay’s CEO Simon Scalzo ahead of capital raise

Fintech payments technology start-up Credit Clear has poached the CEO of one of its start-up rivals as it prepares to embark on a $10 million capital raising push.

The company, which automates the debt collection process and facilitates customer communication over Facebook Messenger, SMS or email, has lured Simon Scalzo from “buy now pay later” platform OpenPay to lead the company.

The Fintech sector’s median revenue has tripled but gender imbalance persists, EY report finds

Median revenue in Australia’s fintech sector has jumped by 208% over the 12 months to June 2017, with one in four companies (24%) enjoying a revenue boost of at least 700%, the 2017 EY FinTech Australia Census reveals.

According to EY, the Census, which is based on survey results from 166 fintech companies, is “the only comprehensive industry-backed analysis of the Australian fintech industry”. It builds on another research report, the 2017 EY FinTech Adoption Index, which in June 2017 found that Australia has leap-frogged Hong Kong, Singapore and the US to have among the best fintech market penetration in the world – specifically, 37% of Australia’s digitally active population are now fintech users, compared to 13% in 2015.

Paradise Papers: Morrison says ATO ‘on the front foot’ over tax avoidance

. The Australian Taxation Office is working with various Australian intelligence agencies to determine whether any Australian companies and individuals exposed in the so-called Paradise Papers should face a criminal prosecution.

The ATO Australian Taxation Office will analyse a trove of more than 13 million leaked documents covering a complex offshore web of financial dealings involving hundreds of politicians, celebrities and companies around the globe.

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