News Pulse for August 7, 2018

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

ASX Most Innovative Companies 

For the past seven years, the Australian Financial Review’s Most Innovative Companies List, awarded annually, provides investors insights into that coveted attribute of economic moats – cutting edge technologies.

From an initial applicant list of approximately 1,000 ANZ companies, the Final 2018 Award List of 100 companies, includes four ASX listed companies among the top ten; all worthy of investor interest.

OneVentures readies Australian VC first: $100m credit fund

Australian venture capital firm OneVentures is set to launch the country’s first venture debt fund in what is expected to be seen as a significant development for local start-ups and start-up investors.

Street Talk understands OneVentures will launch a $100 million fundraising for its new credit fund this week, and expects to be writing loans to local “scale-ups” before the end of this year.

CBA partners with global tech giants

Some of the world’s best technology experts are partnering up to promote innovation amongst Victorian businesses.

Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Lab will work with Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Mastercard, Phoria and UsTwo.

Throughout the month-long festival, CBA’s Innovation Lab will run a series of workshops and events, equipping small business owners with world-leading tools of innovation to develop new ideas for their business alongside the world’s best technology experts.

Weekend worker pay rates push

The shop assistants union is pushing for pay rises for tens of thousands of casual retail workers employed on Saturdays and weeknights, prompting employer claims that higher labour costs will force businesses to cut trading hours and reduce work available to young people.

The Fair Work Commission will this month convene hearings into the long-running claim by the union to increase loadings paid to casual workers on Saturdays and after 6pm on weeknights.

Fintech Skippr scores $16m funding from fintech heavy hitters

Small business financing start-up Skippr has shrugged off concerns that the indefinitely delayed IPO of its venture-backed peer Prospa  could put off investors in the sector, by attracting some of the local fintech scene’s biggest hitters to a $16 million debt and equity financing round.

Pepper group co-founder and former chief executive Patrick Tuttle and SocietyOne and Douugh co-founder Andy Taylor  have both invested in the round, which is comprised of $1 million in equity from high net worth investors, and $15 million in debt.

Paul Bassat isn’t convinced on the neo bank model

One of the recommendations from t he Productivity Commission’s report on competition in the financial services sector is for the government to expand the scope of the “regulatory sandbox” that allows fintechs to test their products without the full burden of regulation.

“At the same time, ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au should take a more hands-on approach to approving and supporting fintechs in testing their products or services, particularly to help with judgments on whether and how products may harm consumers.”

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

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