5 things you should know about tech today

- December 12, 2019 3 MIN READ

It’s Thursday. And Redbubble’s probably looking forward to the weekend more than most.


1.  Bubble bursts

Just seven weeks ago, ASX-listed online marketplace Redbubble (ASX: RBL), which sells t-shirts, mugs and art by independent artists, was on a high, announcing a 37% revenue jump  for Q1 FY20, and massive turnaround in its profitability on 12 months ago. CEO Barry Newstead called it “a strong result” and the market loved it, with shares doubling in value since June to around $1.76, although that figure is roughly the same level as 12 months ago.

The opposite happened today, with a trading update for Q2 to Dec 9 below company expectations, with increased price competition in Redbubble’s market to blame. Group marketplace revenue growth for Q2 to date was 20% YoY on a floating basis, the company said.

The market hated it, wiping nearly 44% off the company’s share price, which sat at $1.81 before the pre-opening announcement, but closed Thursday at $1.02.

Redbubble counts VC firm Blackbird Ventures and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures among its major shareholders. The good news for them is Goldman Sachs has a target price of $2.05 on the business, which listed in 2016. Morningstar’s is $2.08, well up $1.67 it had back in October when the company announced its Q1 results.


2. The cloud wars

US President Donald Trump’s oft-expressed antipathy to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos on Twitter was “improper pressure” on the Pentagon as it assessed rival bids for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project, leading to Microsoft winning cloud computing contract, Amazon has claimed.

Politico reports that Amazon’s legal action – it’s suing the Pentagon after missing out on the US$10 billion deal  in October – alleges the Pentagon made multiple “egregious errors” in evaluating the rival bids, also pointing to the book former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis released saying Trump called his defense chief in 2018 and told him to “screw Amazon” out of the JEDI contract.

“The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends,” Amazon’s complaint says.

Politico has all the details here.


3. Deakin the cybersec uni

Tech org ACS has given Deakin University the country’s first specialist course accreditations for cybersecurity, with five degrees and masters programs receiving recognition.

ACS accreditation is awarded to an institution and its programs after a rigorous evaluation of their capacity to produce graduates who have the knowledge and skills required of a professional. There are currently more than 340 programs from over 40 institutions accredited by the ACS as meeting graduate standards for initial professional practice.


4. Picture this

The City of Melbourne and That Startup Show have created Startup Photo Library, for the startup community as a free online resource. The Library is live from tomorrow, December 13, with over 1400 images from 22 locations and features over 150 “real” startup people.

Among the Melb startup peeps featured are those behind Worksmith, Byrdi, Bring Me Home, Reground and Raine, an electric scooter startup. You’ll find all the images here


5. Leigh the builder

Aconex co-founder Leigh Jasper is back in the building game after leading an $8.5 million raise for Melbourne construction tech venture Buildxact. Existing shareholders joined the raise as well as Perennial Investment Partners, SFO Ventures and Salta Capital.

Jasper, who sold his former ASX-listed business to Oracle for $1.6 billion in 2017, has been investing in startups such as booking platform AmazingCo, with the surplus cash, and left Oracle in September. He’ll join the Buildxact board and be an adviser as Director of Innovation.

Buildxact is a SaaS tool for residential construction that aids with job quotes and management. The funds will go towards expansion into Canada with plans to hit the US and UK markets in 2020.