5 things you should know about tech today

- September 19, 2019 3 MIN READ


Hello and welcome to Startup Daily’s new morning roundup of tech and startup news, both here and overseas.

Let’s get cracking


1. The NBN is chasing Telstra’s enterprise customers with government support.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher is speaking at the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) conference today and will reportedly say that the Morrison Government  considers the NBN targeting the the enterprise market and small and medium business “as a core part of the company’s mission”. The move will come at a cost to Telstra, which dominates the fixed line broadband market for business. NBN, designed as a residential high speed broadband, hopes to bolster its revenue stream with $1 billion from business customers by 2022. The AFR got the drop on the Minister’s speech and has the details here.

2. Young people are using Tiktok in the battle against climate change. 

With school students preparing to strike tomorrow, September 20, as part of a global protest over climate change, the ABC reports that young people are using the social media video app TikTok – previously known as Musical.ly – to spread the climate change message. Tara Bellerose, a 21-year-old Victorian farmer and climate activist has 342,000 followers on TikTok and regularly sends out messages about the impact climate change is having on her farm. The app is better known for dances and lip-synching pop songs. The ABC has more on how young people are using social media to get political here.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that more than 2000 Australian businesses and organisations have signed up for the Atlassian-led Not Business as Usual campaign, supporting their staff who want to join tomorrow’s protests.


3. Microsoft is spending up to US$40 billion (AU$59bn) on a share buyback.

The global software giant announced the share repurchase program, which has no deadline, but may be terminated immediately, as the company announced a share dividend of $0.51 per share, up 5 cents/11% increase on the previous quarter. The company spent around US$4.6 billion on share buybacks in the June quarter. The latest plan accounts for around 3.8% of Microsoft’s total shares. The company has a market capitalisation of around US$1 trillion.


4. Some of Australia’s most successful angel investors are sharing their insights next Friday.

Investible’s Trevor Folsom, Jelix Ventures founder and CEO Andrea Gardiner, Follow [the] Seed founding partner and Jayride chairman Andrey Shirben and Kylie Frazer, co-founder and partner of the recently launched Eleanor Ventures, will reveal how they invest and offer tips to founders on how to attract angel investment in their startups as part of a panel discussion ahead of Techboard’s annual Australian Angel Awards at the Sydney Startup Hub next Friday, September 27. The hour-long panel session at 11am on September 27 will be followed by the Angel Awards and then lunch. Tickets are $25 and available from Eventbrite here.


5. WeWork founder Adam Neumann reportedly smoked dope on a private jet to Israel.

The Wall Street Journal has an astonishing profile of WeWork’s controversial 40-year-old CEO, detailing tequila shots being handed out to shell-shocked staff within minutes of their leader announcing he was firing of 7% of the workforce, and other booze-fuelled work events. Then there’s the Gulfstream G650 trip with friends, where the flight crew found a “sizable chunk” of marijuana in a cereal box, ready for the return trip, after the plane had landed in Israel, just ahead of the company being given a $47 billion valuation. Neumann grew up on a kibbutz there before moving to New York aged 22.  The plane’s owner ordered the jet home, leaving Neumann and his mates to find their own way home. WeWork’s planned IPO was delayed until at least October this week as the company’s founded comes under sustained scrutiny and the company’s value plummets amid concerns that it will be profitable long term. Read the WSJ profile here.