Pulse Alert – News Pulse for September 5, 2019

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

Food fight: UberEats, Deliveroo accused of ‘Sopranos-style shakedown’

A US food-on-demand giant has arrived in Australia just as tensions between local restaurateurs and major food delivery players escalate.

DoorDash, the United States’ largest on-demand food platform, launched in Melbourne on Wednesday, with the Victorian culinary capital becoming DoorDash’s first non-US location.

Hubspot on the hunt for new Atlassian

Multibillion-dollar marketing software startup Hubspot has its eye on the next Australian unicorn as it looks for investments for its recently launched venture fund.

“The next Atlassian to come up… we would love to be a supporter of that business, so we’re on the lookout,” the company’s vice-president of corporate and business development Andrew Lindsay said.

Uber Eats rival DoorDash launches in Melbourne

Meal delivery service DoorDash is taking orders in Melbourne in its first foray outside North America.

Meal delivery service DoorDash is taking orders in Melbourne in its first foray outside North America, adding to the competition in Australia’s home-delivery service market.

The biggest US food delivery company will from Wednesday take on Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo just as the Australian food delivery market shows signs of slowing after years of rapid growth, according to official figures.

Growing digital divide between small business and larger enterprises

There’s a growing digital divide between small businesses and large enterprises, with smaller businesses gaining an advantage by their adoption of new technology, according to a new report.

And the report from accounting software provider Xero says that Australian small businesses that increase their investment in technology grow their revenue and create jobs faster than other businesses.

Invest in tech if you want to grow your business: Xero data insights

Xero , the global small business platform, has today released new data from Xero Small Business Insights that shows technology investment is directly associated with business growth, highlighting that Australian small businesses that increase their investment in technology grow their revenue and create jobs faster than other businesses.

Sharing the data for the first time to coincide with Xerocon Brisbane, Trent Innes, Managing Director, Xero Australia and Asia, has warned of the danger of a digital divide emerging between small businesses and large enterprises and highlighted the advantage small business has in being agile in adopting new technology

Xero banking on artificial intelligence

Xero chief executive Steve Vamos says the accounting platform’s reliance on artificial intelligence will continue to increase.

“We see AI machine learning touching pretty much potentially every aspect of what we do,” Mr Vamos said ahead of the platform’s annual Xerocon conference in Brisbane

Judo takes Canva’s crown, as neobanks dominate the LinkedIn Top Startups list

Small business neobank Judo Bank is the best Aussie startup to work for, according to LinkedIn’s second annual top startups list.

The list uses data from LinkedIn actions to deduce which startups that are attracting, and retaining, the best of the Australian workforce.

“A larrikin unicorn”: Culture Amp raises $120 million in Series E funding to surpass $1 billion valuation milestone – SmartCompany

Melbourne HR startup Culture Amp has raised $US82 million ($120 million) in Series E funding, crowning it as the latest Aussie-grown unicorn.

The round was led by Sequoia Capital, which itself has been a Culture Amp customer for the past three years.

Culture Amp just officially became the latest Australian tech unicorn – by tapping into the obsession with workplace culture

In August, Australian-born HR tech company Culture Amp acted like a true tech unicorn by hosting a huge party/conference called ‘Culture First’ for more than 1,000 adoring fans/customers in San Francisco.

Just a few weeks later, the company has achieved the numbers to back up the festive mood.

Culture Amp, which provides a ‘people and culture’ tech platform for companies to collect and use employee feedback to improve engagement, announced the completion of a US$82 million (AUD$120 million) capital raising campaign on Wednesday, with interest from some of the world’s most serious venture capital players.

ASIC cracks whip on unfair contracts

The corporate watchdog has followed through on its threats to litigate, this time on unfair terms in small business contracts, but the real change will come with the Treasury Department’s review of loan terms and promises of increased penalties.

Today’s action was against Bank of Queensland and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

ACT to cut down on builders phoenixing, license developers

The ACT will introduce legislation to cut down on phoenixing by builders as early as next month and also plans a regime to license developers, as the federal capital seeks to raise building standards and protect apartment buyers from unresolved defect bills.

Minister for Building Quality Improvement Gordon Ramsay on Wednesday said proposed law changes would crack down on dodgy builders and also beef up powers of the territory’s regulator to enforce compliance with rectification orders and impose penalties worth up to $300,000 on people who fail to meet their obligations.

Mumpreneurs spearhead international start-up push

More women are spearheading business ideas that are translating well in international markets, with the benefits of starting a small business in today’s digital marketplace outweighing the potential risks.

Ex-Macquarie banker Annie Slattery founded construction contract site ConX five years ago from co-working space Fishburners. ConX’s digital tool box enables the 120,000 contractors on its platform to manage their tenders, prepare cost estimates and hire a team. Ms Slattery had watched her husband grapple with running a contracting business for 10 years and knew there had to be an easier way.

Closing the unfair contracts window

It’s about time the second-tier banks got their act together on ­unfair contract terms affecting small businesses.

The catalyst is likely to be the Treasury’s review of unfair contract term protections more so than ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au’s Federal Court action on Wednesday against Bank of Queensland and Bendigo and ­Adelaide Bank over their small business contracts.

Govt is coming for your data

If you’ve never of the proposed Data Sharing and Release Act you are not alone.

The new legislation, which will over-ride the Privacy Act (where there are conflicts), has been quietly planned for the past year or so, without much fanfare and little media interest .

When it has been subject to reportage, the focus has been on the Consumer Data Right , which will require businesses to give consumers data they hold about us so we can transfer it to competitors for a better deal. The Consumer Data Right will be initially implemented in the banking sector, telecommunications and energy sectors.

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

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