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News & Analysis

Your 90-second guide to the day in tech

- April 13, 2021 2 MIN READ
Fishburners chair Clive Mayhey. Photo: supplied

Happy Tuesday and welcome to the latest tech news from around the world. 

Don’t forget to tune in for the Startup Daily show on Ausbiz.com.au  every weekday, 2-2.40pm. Watch online, download the ausbiz app or via 7Plus.

Microsoft’s Nuance

Microsoft’s had its wallet out for some time, looking to buy something, with TikTok, Pinterest and Discord all reportedly on the shopping list. But in the end, Bill’s old business is plonking US$19.6 billion (A$25.7bn) on the table for AI-based speech recognition pioneer Nuance Communications, a healthtech venture that helps doctors predict patient needs and improve digital record-keeping in hospitals.

The acquisition price sits at 14 times Nuance’s 2021 revenue projection,  which suggests Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella can see something in the recently restructured business that’s not obvious to most.

Faraday hits the road

After almost ending up in a roadside ditch after seven rocky years, US electric vehicle startup’s Faraday Future public listing through a SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) is reportedly just weeks away, with a potential valuation of US$3.4 billion. Not bad for a company that’s still not produced a car, but says it will kick off sales in 2022.

The business announced plans back in January to raise US$1bn as part of a SPAC merger with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp.

Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting founded the venture in California, but subsequently ran out of cash and was in trouble with Chinese authorities and the startup’s financial future, amid missed production deadlines, has been tenuous ever since, despite the best efforts of former BMW execs to right the ship.

Geely, China’s biggest privately owned automaker, has chipped in as part of the latest raise, along with Chinese officials, through a major city. Faraday Future plans to hit the US, China, and European markets, with South Korean manufacturer Myoung Shin making cars there and a joint venture with Geely reportedly part of the plans.

Fishburners board changes

Not-for-profit startup incubator Fishburners has two new board members, with tech investor and entrepreneur Clive Mayhew stepping up to become its new chair, with media exec Jacqui Feeney also appointed a director. 

They join existing board members Annie Slattery, Bilyana Smith, Dany Milham, Rod Bishop and Andrew Thornton,

Mayhew a 25-year of the tech industry as well as being an angel investor and startup mentor, is also widely admired for his volunteer work establishing the Golf Challenge and Yoga Aid Challenge

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the Fishburners board, particularly as they approach their ten year anniversary,” he said. 

Feeney’s career includes time at Foxtel, 21st Century Fox and National Geographic and more recently she’s been advising a range of startups.

 

Zip zips

BNPL Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) released its quarterly results today with Q3 FY21 revenue up 80% YoY to A$114.4 million, while transaction volumes grew by 114% to $1.6 billion.

Zip’s US business, Quadpay had 188% YoY revenue growth to A$54.4 million. ANZ transaction volume was up 61% to $837.3 million. Customer numbers increased by 88% YoY to 6.4 million.

Zip shares were up nearly 9% to $9.06 on the news.

Source: Zip

Yahoo’s silver jubilee

Today marks 25 years (Apr 12 in the US) since Yahoo listed at US$13 a share. In a tech story familiar to investors today, the shares jumped as high as $43 on the opening day of trade, before closing at $33. They peaked at US$475 around the time the dotcom boom was ready to crash and of course the business sold to Verizon Media in 2017 for US$4.48 billion. What a generation.

 

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