WEEK STARTING OCTOBER 7
AUSTRALIAN FINTECH & STARTUPS
BNPL for renewable energy, Brighte, raised $15.5m series C, with a pivot toward BNPL for home improvements. Afterpay + the Block?
Report: Australian ADI market share report & challenger bank category tear down. Awesome analysis on the domestic challenger and neobank landscape (with an interesting lens on the winners and losers of social media spend)
Verrency is looking to raise for their Series B
WeWtf: a scathing review of the WeWork IPO
A16z Analysis: Digital Wallets: The Next Platform (& where startups can compete). Must read for anyone in payments
Repost from last week (link was broken): You don't understand your software engineers
An article came out this week named “Australia is rich, dumb and getting dumber“ which triggered a series of reactions across news sites & social media. The article looks at the works of Harvard Economist, Richard Hausmann, who ranked Australia as 93rd / 133 in their Economic Complexity Index (one rank below Senegal). The index measures the diversity and sophistication of national exports. It suggests that Australia’s lack of diversification of exports and lack of early stage funding meaning innovation tends to go offshore (hence the author’s comment ‘Australia sells the world almost nothing, relative to total exports, that requires a degree to make’.) Overall, a pretty scathing but thought provoking article, I highly recommend you have a read. You can also find the Atlas of Economic Complexity here and the analysis on Australia here.
Side note: In Hausmann’s same study, Australia is ranked #8 on the prosperity index. If innovation is borne out of adversity, and things are generally pretty good, does that extinguish the drive to innovate (she’ll be right)? Or do we still love to back a winner, just need the expertise / tax breaks to get involved (e.g. not everything has to go into negatively gearing property, for example non-sophisticated investors can make use of policies such as the tax incentives for investors in early stage innovation companies (ESICs) which are a critical part of encouraging early stage investment)?. Would love to read and learn more on this topic - feedback and discussion welcomed in reply to this email
Facepalm: What the web is like in 2019
Finding: Two thirds of Gen Z worry about mental health at work
Popular gaming company, Blizzard, is facing a massive backlash, including employees walking out, after they banned a pro Hearthstone player for voicing his support for Hong Kong protestors
Twitterati: Interesting thread of a sophisticated 2FA phishing scam
Answers at the end of the email
(a) What three countries border Vietnam?
(b) Algeria, Mauritania & Spain border which country?
(c) What large retail franchise founded in Michigan in 1971 became defunct in 2011, with Amazon mostly to blame?
(d) What word links these three: spectacled, sun and black?