Welcome to # Monday.
We’re hearing Helen Reddy’s “I am woman hear me roar”, but also thinking Sam Cooke: “A Change Is Gonna Come”.
Microsoft v Google
Microsoft might be in a world of pain right now over the Exchange hack that’s left thousands of companies and other institutions vulnerable, but that didn’t stop the company’s president Brad Smith from rocking up before the US House of Representatives on Friday to discuss tech and the media as part of an ongoing stoush with Google et al.
*Narrator’s voice* Previously on Clash of the Tech Giants: it’s worth remember that Smith was vocal in backing Australia’s news media bargaining code as Google and Facebook fought against it.
Smith told the Congressional hearing in Microsoft’s written submission that a lack of competition in the search and ad tech markets, which are controlled by Google, are partly to blame for journalism’s woes – an argument the major media companies themselves have been pushing.
In his written testimony, Smith says: "The problems that beset journalism today are caused in part by a fundamental lack of competition in the search and ad tech markets that are controlled by Google."
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) March 12, 2021
At the same time Smith was having his say, Google’s VP of Global Affairs Kent Walker took an almighty swing at Microsoft in a blog post, accusing the company trying to distract people from its hacking problems, including the SolarWinds and Exchange hacks.
Kiwi unicorn sale
New Zealand software company Seequent (formerly ARANZ Geo), now a global venture producing 3D models for the mining, civil engineering and other geoscience sectors, has hit unicorn status in the sweetest way, being acquired by US engineering software venture Bentley Systems for $US1.05 billion (A$1.4 n). The deal combines US$900 million in cash, subject to adjustment, plus 3,141,361 Class B shares in Nasdaq-listed $BSY.
Goldman Sachs was reportedly also considering an ASX listing for Seequent before landing the Bentley deal.
The Christchurch-headquartered company, which operates in 16 locations and has more than 430 staff, will continue to operate as a standalone business.
Seequent CEO Shaun Maloney said: “By ‘leapfrogging ahead’ with Bentley to align geosciences with infrastructure engineering through deeper digital twins, Seequent underscores our conviction that better understanding of the earth creates a better world for all”.
We’ll just leave this here.
The billionaire who’s profited more during the pandemic than anyone else on Earth is now casting doubt on the safety of the second covid jab. @MehdiRHasan says you should pay about as much attention to @elonmusk as you should a screaming toddler. Start the clock!: pic.twitter.com/cvnf4jfUxd
— The Mehdi Hasan Show (@MehdiHasanShow) March 15, 2021
Jack Dorsey’s Square rival, Stripe announced a US$600 million (A$775m) raise today to deliver a US$95 billion (A$123bn) valuation. Primary investors include Allianz X, Axa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Sequoia Capital, and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency.
The company says the funds will be used to accelerate momentum in Europe – 31 of the 42 countries it operates in are there – alongside plans to expand in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Thailand and the UAE.
President and co-founder John Collison said: “We’re investing a ton more in Europe this year, particularly in Ireland. Whether in fintech, mobility, retail or SaaS, the growth opportunity for the European digital economy is immense.”
DroneShield’s 5 Eyes deal
ASX-listed drone tech venture DroneShield (ASX:DRO) says it’s booked a repeat $1 million contract from a “high profile” government that’s part of the Five Eyes alliance – an intelligence sharing network comprising of Australia, Canada, NZ, the UK, and US.
The deal is double the size of last year’s trial contract and will be paid this financial year.
The Five Eyes alliance is an intelligence alliance comprising, sharing information on security matters such as terrorism.
DroneShield CEO Oleg Vornik said the order was “a testament to both the industry leading capabilities of DroneShield products and an example of a common procurement pattern in our industry, where an initial order and evaluation might take some time, but once the solution has been validated and thoroughly vetted by the end user, larger follow-on orders result.”
Tweet of the Day:
— Ronald van Loon (@Ronald_vanLoon) March 12, 2021