WEEK STARTING OCTOBER 21
AUSTRALIAN FINTECH & STARTUPS
AirTree launched their third VC fund of $275m for Aussie and Kiwi startups. Huge!
The RBA is investigating Afterpay and BNPL providers for their 'no surcharge rule' (link here). Good article here on how this clashes with the Morrison Government's agenda
Check your bank account: CBA had an outage and gave ~100k customers $50 in apology
Athena Home Loans raised a $70m Series C round
Boost Juice & PropertyGuru had to cancel their IPOs, following in the wake of Latitude Financial's IPO flop
Google claims they reached 'Quantum Supremacy'. The quantum computer completed a calculation in less than 3.5 minutes that would take a present-day computer 10,000 years to finish. Video (promo) here
Popular luxury software, Superhuman, is now starting a venture fund. More on Superhuman here
More WeWork saga: Co-founder Adam Neumann's era is over, but he is expected to receive a $1.2bn windfall
Tidbit: UberEATS now accounts for 10% of McDonalds' UK business
Weekend (long) read: Is Amazon Unstoppable?
Research paper: Adversarial Attacks Against Medical Deep Learning Systems. This paper advocates for deep learning in medical diagnosis e.g. IBM Watson identifying skin cancer (who wouldn't) - but explains how end users can manipulate model outputs for fraudulent purposes
COOL FINTECH OF THE WEEK
Wildcard Money - an app that provides access to a portion of your pay / salary each day, to help you better manage your money. I find this one incredibly interesting. It's very clever to use a salary deposit as the USP for your banking app - something that other neobanks internationally have struggled to lock in (ultimately building out their deposit book). Note: Up Banking is adding the 'auto-split' feature. It also actively encourages positive spending habits, and is more like a transactional account that unbundles your Pay / Spend account from your savings, goals, investments etc. I think this approach is fantastic - stick with a core product feature (salary deposit), iterate, and see how it pans out. By gamifying the salary deposit & discretional spend, it can effectively look after a significant part of your paycheck (notwithstanding rental payments & other direct deposits, which presumably are carried out by other FIs)
Answers at the end of the email
(a) How many different opening moves are possible in a game of chess?
(b) Which two countries share a border with Costa Rica?
(c) What two capital cities are within a 500km radius of Andorra's capital, Andora La Vella?