WEEK STARTING JULY 15
AUSTRALIAN FINTECH & STARTUPS
86 400 were granted their full, unrestricted banking license (a license to bill?). This has been a long time coming, and 86 400 are now can now call themselves a bank, alongside challenger volt. They didn't opt for a restricted ADI, a la Xinja, or decide to partner with an incumbent e.g. Up (and Bendigo/Adelaide), or go for the sandbox option, e.g. Revolut
Blackbird VC announced a $30m fund in NZ. Sweet as bru!
IGA is now going to accept crypto payments at their point of sale
Interesting read: Death to the ping pong table: the Aussie startups breaking the mould on employee perks. Well balanced approach on how Canva is bucking some startup stereotypes!
Elon Musk announced 'Neuralink', a brain-machine interface company that aims to implant devices in paralysed humans' brains. Insane. Full presentation here
Facebook was slapped a $5bn fine for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Can they repay in Libra?
Long read: The operational chaos at Grindr
More Emoji are coming, with a focus on inclusion and diversity. And for some reason, a plate of falafel
You’ve probably seen or used the viral app ‘FaceApp’ this week, whose popularity stems from the ability to make faces in your photos older, or more hipster, or younger (etc). There are a swathe of articles on how your photos are being analysed, sent to Russia and that you’ll end up on a billboard in St Petersburg or something. Long story short: the privacy concerns are massively overblown, but valid. However, as with any cloud-based machine learning algorithm, your photos are being processed in a data centre somewhere to help train the app to be more accurate
It was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing
COOL FINTECH OF THE WEEK
Finix, a payments-infrastructure-as-a-service startup allowing businesses to be their own payment processors. They position themselves away from Stripe, Square and PayPal (payments behemoths) by targeting businesses with sub $50m in annual transactions, charging money through a monthly licensing fee & other surcharges (more economical than the % fees Stripe, Square and PayPal charge). Finix calls themselves the 'twillio of payments’ and recently raised $18m. Incredibly interesting proposition. More here
Answers at the end of the email
(a) Of the American Film Institute's Top 50 Movie Heroes, who was the only character that wasn't portrayed by a human?
(b) Which 1,980-mile river that starts in Canada is the longest in the Western Hemisphere that flows out to the Pacific Ocean?
(c) The line "We had everything before us, we had nothing before us" is found in the 1st paragraph of which 1859 novel?