Your (just a little bit more than) 90-second guide to the day in tech

- February 26, 2021 3 MIN READ
Split Payments' new CFO Graham Hayworth, COO Matthew Zaina, and CEO Chris Jewell.

Welcome to Friday! Here’s your local and global tech news. And yes, it’s a big one today, so we might need an extra minute of your time.

Don’t forget to tune in for the Startup Daily show on Ausbiz.com.au  every weekday, 2-2.45pm. Watch online, download the ausbiz app or via 7Plus.


Split builds C-suite

Byron Bay-based fintech Split Payments has nabbed three new senior hires, promoting the company’s COO, Chris Jewell, to CEO, while Matthew Zaina (ex Goldman Sachs and Qantas) becomes COO, and Graham Hayworth (ex BoQ and Virgin Money), CFO.

The real time payments and open banking specialist’s revenue is up more than 275% in the last six months and the has more the doubled to more 50 staff, with plans to open a Sydney work space in Q2 2021.

Co-founder Matt Cheers said the company’s goal “is to build the best technology to help people and businesses pay and receive money efficiently while providing a fantastic customer experience, and our current growth trajectory shows we’re achieving that”.


Hubilo’s $30 raise

Virtual and hybrid events platform, Hubilo, raised a US$23.5 million (A$30m) Series A led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Balderton Capital, as well as Microsoft chair John Thompson, and Chris Schagen, former CMO at Contentful.

It follows a US$4.5 million seed round in November 2020.

The Indian startup, which only launched its virtual events platform in April 2020, has seen its revenue grow by 50% month-over-month since kicking off, and its global customer list includes the United Nations, Roche, Informa Markets, Tech in Asia, Fortune, AWS, Siemens. More than a million attendees have used the platform, which promises to avoid “Zoom fatigue”.

Founded by Mayank Agarwal (CTO) and Vaibhav Jain (CEO), Hubilo plans to use the funds to invest in strengthening its product and design teams in India and building out its US and Europe-based go-to-market teams. The company now has new offices in San Francisco and London too.

eCar maker’s $46m series B

German electric vehicle startup Next.e.GO Mobile SE has raised EUR 30 million (A$46.5m) as it gets to work producing its four-seater passenger car, e.GO Life. Production of the EV at a plant in Aachen is set to get underway in June 2021. They’re kicking off with a 1,000 car limited edition run priced at €22,990 ($35,000).

Actor Edward Norton, was among the company’s backers, along with Formula E founder Alejandro Agag, former US Secretary of Treasury John Snow, and Louis M. Bacon’s Moore Strategic Ventures.

The NextEdition eGo

$33.5 million series B

Melbourne customer data analytics firm Lexer, has raised $33.5 million in Series B funding

The 11-year-old venture has now raised $43 million in total funding. The round was led by Blackbird Ventures and King River Capital, with Series A investor January Capital also participating. Blackbird’s Rick Baker will join the Lexer board.

The funding will be used to add 50 staff over the next 12 months, and accelerate product development.

Zip shares sink after massive loss

The recent stellar run of shares in Build Now Profit Later fintech Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) plunged around 10% yesterday after the release of its half-yearly results revealed a staggering $455.9 million loss after tax.

That figure dwarfs Afterpay’s (ASX: APT) six-month $79 million loss, also revealed yesterday. Its shares are now in a trading halt ahead of a $1.25 billion raise.

Zip shares finished Thursday down nearly 8% at $10.95.

Revenue grew by 130% to $160 million in the six months to December 31, 2020. Total transaction value (TTV) was up 141% to $2.32 billion (annualising at $7.5bn+ as at Dec2020).

The company now has more than 5.7m active customers, up 217% YoY.

The $455.9 million statutory loss largely came from non-recurring items, including a goodwill adjustment following the acquisition of its US offshoot, QuadPay. Following consultation with independent valuers, Zip decided on a Day 1 adjustment of $415.9m to the carrying value of goodwill, but then a revaluation gain of $109.7m led to a $306.2m net adjustment.

Excluding those items, Zip’s loss before tax, depreciation, amortisation, and share-based payments was $14.9 million.

Zip CEO Larry Diamond said: “Even though we are 7 years in, global BNPL adoption remains in its infancy – there is approximately $22t in total addressable market (TAM) volume with BNPL penetration of global ecommerce spend only 1.6%.”

Zip’s H1 FY21 financial performance


Kogan’s board boost

Boost Juice founder Janine Allis and Vocus founder James Spenceley will join the board of Kogan.com as Independent Non-Executive Directors, the company announced in revealing its half-yearly results today.

Gross profit was $112.9 million, up 126.2% on prior year (1HFY20: $49.9m). Adjusted EBITDA increased 184.4% to $51.7 million, NPAT (net profit after tax) grew 164.2% to $23.6 million and adjusted NPAT increased 250.2% to $36.5m.

Gross sales hit $638.2 million, up 97.4%, with revenue at $414.0 million, up 88.6% on prior year (1HFY20: $219.5m)

The company is paying a fully franked interim dividend of 16 cents per share.


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