Your 90-second guide to the day in tech

- March 3, 2021 3 MIN READ
Working mum Grimes sold her NFT art series WarNymph for $5.8m


Welcome to Wednesday.

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.


Grimes against art

A non-fungible token (NFT) sounds like a reason to see a doctor, but it’s the new bitcoin, a unique type of digital asset that’s already become a US$250m market, with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike and the NBA already getting into it by making NFT-based consumer products.

Oh for a time when we simply swapped footy cards in the playground while chewing the accompanying gum.

Billionaire Mark Cuban is into NFTs, actress Lindsay Lohan sold one for US$59,000 and Christie’s is flogging an artwork titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” by Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, next week.

And now Grimes, mother of the baby formerly known as X Æ A-12, is turning a quid selling NFT art, selling 10 works for US$5.8m from a series titled WarNymph Collection Vol 1. She produced them in a collaboration with her brother Mac Boucher.


Many have already been relisted for sale at inflated prices, so it appears the buyers were not just looking to replace the James Dean poster on their wall.

And while that sounds impressive, the gold medal goes to Miami-based art collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile who paid around US$67,000 on a 10-second video artwork in October last year, then last week sold it for US$6.6 million.

And we thought BNPL shares were overvalued.


Instacart raises $340m

US retail delivery startup Instacart has raised US$265 million (A$340m) from existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, D1 Capital Partners, Fidelity Management & Research, and T. Rowe Price Associates for a valuation of US$39 billion.

The delivery and pickup marketplace works with from more than 45,000 stores to service over 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households, from prescriptions to office supplies, electronics, health, beauty and wellness and more.

That means the business, which is looking to IPO, is now worth more than DoorDash when it listed last year at a US$32 billion IPO valuation (it’s now worth about US$51bn).


Fintech Xendit raises $85m

Jakarta-based digital payments fintech Xendit has raised US$64.6 million (A$85m) in a series B, led by Accel alongside YCombinator.

The startup has now raised $88 million in funding and has processed more than 65 million transactions with US$6.5 billion in payment value annually.

CEO and co-founder Moses Lo said the latest investment will enable Xendit to scale our digital payments infrastructure quickly and provide millions of small and medium-sized businesses across Southeast Asia with an on-ramp to the digital economy.


NSW app for that

Kudos to the NSW government’s Service NSW app, a daily habit for Startup Daily, from QR code check-ins to carrying assorted licences, from fishing to driving and working with children.

The state’s Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said more than 80,000 businesses actively use the check-in feature, which has now registered more than 117 million Covid-Safe check-ins.

Meanwhile, the Service NSW app has been downloaded four million times, which covers around 75% of NSW’s adult population.


EZZ listing rockets

Australian beauty and wellness startup EZZ Life Science Holdings Ltd made its ASX debut today with its shares popping in opening trade following a $6 million raise at $0.50 per share for an initial market of $21m.

The 2.5-year-old venture (ASX: EZZ), which builds brands from ideation to execution, and is also building a manufacturing capacity, produces, designs and distributes its own range of consumer health products under the EZZ brand and is already cash-flow positive.

The share price has popped around 60% after kicking off at 11am and by 1pm, was sitting at around $0.78.


Women’s AMA

If you’re a female scientist, engineer, researcher and/or student kicking off your STEM career, you probably have heaps of questions you want to ask and would love to talk with another women who has a bit of BTDT (been there, done that) under their belt.

When next week, Cicada Innovations is offering just that with an online ‘ask me anything’ session with two pioneering women in STEM, Alison Todd, Co-Founder of SpeeDx & Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations.

They’re giving 25 women the chance to pick their substantial brains next Wednesday, March 10, from 12noon, but because places are limited, you have to register and submit your question. Do so here.


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