News & Analysis

5 things you should know about tech today

- November 15, 2019 3 MIN READ

Just remember Sylvia and Gerry Anderson had a woman based on the moon by 1999 back in the mid-70s. Image: Space 1999.

Got that Friday feeling?

Remember it’s just 39 sleeps to Christmas.

1.  WeWork’s death predicted 

WeWork’s rapid expansion included how much money it’s losing, with The New York Times reporting the company’s losses were up 150% to $1.25 billion in the September quarter, compared to a year ago. Meanwhile, revenue rose around 94% to $934 million.

The figures led Prof. Scott Galloway, to predicted WeWork’s demise as it tried to IPO, to declare the company terminal.  The business prof also reckons Bloomberg’s up next for POTUS, and Alexa will rule the world. You heard it here second.

2. Afterpay hits eBay

Afterpay has signed a deal with eBay Australia so around 40,000 Australian SMEs on the e-tailing platform will be able to offer the buy now pay later option from next year.

“The partnership represents Afterpay Australia’s largest online arrangement to date, which allows both companies to align on a mutual approach of adding value to merchants by helping them access new and repeat customers,” Afterpay said.

The deal follows Zip Co’s new collaboration with Amazon Australia.

The ASX-listed fintech has also stuck a strategic merchant agreement with Mastercard for “mid-term growth” and at Wednesday’s AGM in Melbourne, revealed a quirky deal with US tech venture fund Coatue, which is spending AU$200 million on a private placement to buy into Afterpay at a discounted price of $28.50 a share, around 3% off Tuesday’s closing price. The funds will go towards platform expansion, the company said.

After a brief dip following the announcement, Afterpay shares have been on a steady climb for the last 48 hours, rising above $33 on Friday to give Coatue a quick $32 million gain.

3. Bay City Labs gets a new boss

Melbourne’s Bay City Labs, the southern sibling to ACS’s  Sydney’s Harbour City Labs and Brisbane’s River City Labs, has a head of growth, Jennifer George.

Jennifer George, the new Head of Growth at ACS Bay City Labs. Photo: supplied

George (not to be confused with the former ACTU boss and MP) was running her own consulting business, Strategic Commercialisation Australia, prior to appointment, having also worked in business development at the University of Melbourne and UniQuest, UQ’s commercialisation arm. Shehas an MBA from UQ, is a graduate of AICD and sits on the Standards Australia advisory panel for Smart Cities.

In taking charge of the Docklands innovation and scale-up lab, George said: “Not only can we accelerate B2B start-ups at our state-of-the-art facilities, but we can also create a beneficial ecosystem of partnerships across industry, governments, SME’s and academia that will truly ensure their growth”.

4.  The woman in the moon

NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments, Dr Christyl Johnson is delivering a keynote speech at StartCon, in Sydney next Friday, November 22.

Dr Johnson will unveil NASA’s plans to put the first woman and next man on the surface of the moon by 2024, with the goal of establishing a sustained presence there. She’ll also discuss NASA’s approach to innovation and the practical applications of moving outside of traditional frameworks to solve real problems that bring transformative change.

“At StartCon, I will share how NASA has used its technologies to help transform markets and spur the next generation of innovators to improve the quality of life for all,” she said.

Click on StartCon.com for more details.

5. Is 14 years in too soon for a series A?

Congrats to Canadian startup 1Password, a password creation and management tech venture that kicked off in 2005, started making money from kick off and bootstrapped and now has 174 employees. The business this week announced a US$200 million Series A from Accel.

But the thing that caught Startup Daily’s attention, browsing through its team, it 1Password’s job titles. Boss Jeff Shiner is Chief Eliminator of Obstacles (aka CEO), Matt Davey Chief Operations Optimist, and there’s a Bearded Vulcan Support Technician and Transatlantic Support Jedi (what would geeks have done if Star Wars hadn’t been invented?). Or that could just be their individual passwords.

Have a great weekend. See you Monday.

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