5 things you should know about tech today

- November 12, 2019 2 MIN READ


Hello Tuesday. Thoughts and fingers crossed.


1.  The climate change startup accelerator

Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes is among those who’ve thrown their support behind a new Startmate accelerator for startups tackling climate change. They’re looking for 10 ventures and offering up to $75,000 for a 7.5% stake in each one. A bunch of VC firms are backing the project, along with the likes of Canva, Safety Culture and Culture Amp.

Applications for the Startmate Climate Cohort close on November 19. Details are here. The full story is here.

2. Is corporate Australia over accelerators?

BlueChilli is shifting its focus away from early-stage startups to scale-ups, at the urging of its corporate partners seeking to back more mature ventures.

The news broke as the AFR revealed Telstra was reviewing its Muru-D startup accelerator, which it backs to the turn of millions of dollars annually, including $40,000 for each of the 10 finalist ventures from each annual cohort. A Telstra spokesman told The Fin it hadn’t yet reached any conclusions, but ceasing funding for Muru-D is a possibility.

Meanwhile, BlueChilli founder Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin said in a blog post  that after investing the $10 million in the BlueChilli Venture Fund on early-stage startup, that’s the end, with programs such as SheStarts also up in the air.

“Many of our corporate partners in Australia have increasingly been asking for later-stage start-up programs, so we’re scaling back our technology arm and pivoting our focus from building early-stage startups to working with scale-ups in Australia,” Eckersley-Maslin said. He’ll also focus on Asia. More here.


3. Neobank 86 400 launches digital home loan

Just nine weeks after launching its app-based savings accounts, digital bank 86 400 has launched a digital home loan through brokers, claiming approval cam come up to six times faster than the Big Four, with the only paperwork needed being the contract of sale. There are fixed (2.88% for 3 years) and variable (3.09%) loan options, as well as interest only (3.69%), with a redraw facility. 86 400 has partnerships with Vow Financial and Specialist Finance Group .


4. Domain nabs proptech play Real Time Agent.

Real estate listing site Domain has signed a deal to buy, for an undisclosed price, digital platform, Real Time Agent, which digitises transaction documents such as agency agreements, auctions and contracts.

It does a bunch of other stuff from real-time digital execution of the binding agreement between real estate agents and vendors, a bid tracker for agents to digitally record individual bids and auction results, and digital sale contract process that calculates settlement dates and deposits, and instantly sends copies of the completed contract to the agent, office, vendor, and purchaser. The business was founded in  2016 by former real estate agent, Angus Ferguson, and Daniel Portelli.

Meanwhile, Domain’s Q1 FY20 results posted a 12% fall in revenue and 8% drop in digital revenue. The good news is that’s better than the previous quarter’s respective 17% and 11% respective slumps, amid a 14% reduction in listings nationally. Domain is looking to cut costs by 10% in the second half of 2019.


5: That time Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi, well.

Back in 2016, the Saudi Public Investment Fund gave Uber US$3.5 billion, a record foreign government investment. Uber’s CEO floated the company in May at US$45. Uber’s share price today sits around US$27. This isn’t exactly helping.

BONUS ITEM: We hope you’ve stayed safe in the NSW bushfires. Here’s what they look like from space.