Welcome to Ignition Lane's Weekly Wrap, where they break through the noise to bring you their favorite insights from the world of technology and startup. Ignition Lane works with ambitious business leaders to apply the startup mindset to their technology, product and commercialization problems.
This wrap is sent to subscribers for free every Saturday. Don't forget to watch Gavin Appel talk about the week every Monday at 2:00 p.m. on the Startup Daily show on Zusatzbiz. If you miss it, check out the shows of the week here.
Here is your weekly review.
FunTech (Kiwi for FinTech)
The Largest Australasian Series A? Founded just two years ago, Scalapay has $ 210 million under the direction of Tiger Global with a valuation of nearly $ 1 billion ($ 700 million) collected. The founders now started buying, later paid for the Australian startup, but quickly found that the local market was saturated and decided to shift the focus to Southern Europe. Scalapay is now integrated with 3,000 merchants and over 2,000 physical retailers from Italy to Spain. This is global from day one. We believe this Serie A could be the biggest Australia has ever seen and close to breaking Airwallex's record for fastest unicorn status.
今 す ぐ 購入 、 後 で 支 払 う. PayPal is buying the Japanese “buy now, pay later” company Payy for $ 2.7 billion, mostly in cash. Afterpay and Square stocks fell after the news. Thread on the future value of BNPL:
1 / Why is “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) an early threat to trillions of dollars in market capitalization – Visa (nearly 500 billion Fiserv, FIS, Global Payments, etc.)?
– Alex Rampell (@arampell) September 8, 2021
You want Bitcoin with it? You can now use Bitcoin to buy McDs in El Salvador after it was the first country in the world to legal tender Bitcoin.
Do you even have crypto, brother? A recent finder survey found that 17% of Australians now own $ 8 billion worth of crypto (well, maybe a little less after the price crash on Tuesday). Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, followed by Ethereum and Dogecoin. One in three Australians believe that Bitcoin will replace the fiat currency by 2050.
Instant Bitcoin. The Australian crypto exchange BTC Markets works with Volt. Volt will provide corporate cash management accounts to BTC Markets users to manage their Australian dollar funds, providing near-instant cash-to-crypto trading opportunities. Eventually, the partnership will allow BTC Markets users to open Volt bank accounts without leaving the exchange.
Struggle of the regulators. U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned that it will sue the major bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase if it launches its new lend product that offers interest on bitcoin holdings. The SEC would like to argue that lend is a security and should be subject to securities laws (registration with the SEC, prospectus, audited accounts, etc.). From Bloomberg's Matt Levine:
In general, what happens now in the crypto world is that it is quickly recreating the things that exist in the traditional financial world. [For example Lend is like a savings offering:] "Earn interest on your savings" … And of course it would be nice for crypto companies to recreate banking without banking regulation. But you can see why regulators wouldn't like that.
In this context, Coinbase Ventures was the third most active corporate VC in the first half of 2021. It was founded in 2018 and already has 11 companies in its portfolio with a value of over 1 billion US dollars.
Meanwhile in Aus … In October, an Australian Senate Committee will make recommendations on how blockchain and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should fit into the Australian financial regulatory landscape. Some have expressed concern about the lack of clarity in the rules governing digital assets. Others, including Afterpay, are pushing to prevent regulations from stifling innovation. It is a delicate balance.
Afterpay put before the Senate Committee that crypto-based payments could cut costs for merchants by avoiding card fees (unlikely if Mastercard goes behind – more on that below). It said it is actively “considering” how innovative fintech features like crypto payments could work within Afterpay. It also recommended that the government put in place a framework for an AUD-backed stablecoin. All of this is not surprising, especially given the likely takeover of Afterpay by Square, which invests heavily in Bitcoin and decentralized financial products.
Cut out the digital ticket. Mastercard has acquired the crypto intelligence and security company CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount. It wants to use the startup's analytics capabilities to improve crypto security and fraud detection. Mastercard has moved deeper into cryptocurrency this year: it launched a cryptocurrency accelerator program, partnered with a digital lender and cryptocurrency exchange to offer cryptocurrency reward cards, and announced it would support cryptocurrency payments.
New Bank, who is it? Avenue Bank has received a limited banking license from the Australian Financial Supervisory Authority. The approval means Avenue can offer short-term working capital loans to SMEs. Neobank hopes to obtain a full license by mid-2022.
Fixed income flourishes. Blossom reached $ 10 million in assets under management after just three months in the market. Founded by Gaby Rosenberg just two years after graduation, Blossom offers Australians an easy way to invest in fixed income assets that are normally only available to institutional investors like hedge funds. Blossom is backed by Gleneagle Asset Management and aims to deliver 3% p.a. return, with no zero fees or term commitment.
Other local news
Microsoft buys a new Clippy. Microsoft takes over the video startup Clipchamp from Queensland, "wholeheartedly wants to welcome them as like-minded people [ing]". Namasté, Microsoft. Clipchamp is an in-browser video creation and editing experience founded in 2013. Investor Steve Baxter calls it "Canva for Video". Word.
Australia's first national biotech incubator. The federal government has allocated $ 40 million to a Brandon Capital-managed Medical Research Commercialization Fund (MRCF) to commercialize promising research into new therapies. The MRCF is a collaboration between leading medical research organizations, hospitals and pension funds in Australia and New Zealand. Half of the funding will help promising preclinical biomedical technologies prepare investments. The other half will support the clinical development of new therapies for the treatment of diseases.
If you are interested in working at HealthTech, our friend Emily Casey has launched a new What the Health job board. Come under. And while you're at it, check out their newsletter.
Containment of the tyrants. The Australian High Court ruled that newspaper publishers could be held liable for comments made by the public on their Facebook pages. The verdict stems from a case by Dylan Voller, who seeks to sue certain media companies in the NSW Supreme Court for allegedly defamatory comments on their Facebook pages. There is now a risk that media companies will turn off comments if they don't take the effort to moderate them. Isn't that a bad thing if it prevents online bullying?
Envato expands its presence in New Zealand. It now has 17 employees working remotely across Aotearoa and expects that number to double by the end of the year.
Medicines on demand. Chemist Warehouse is the newest retailer to partner with DoorDash to deliver pharmaceutical products to customers within 24 hours.
Show me the money
Willow raised $ 43 million (valued over $ 170 million) from existing investors for their twin digital platform. Digital twins are digital representations of physical facilities (e.g. railway lines or buildings) overlaid with real-time data on the performance of these facilities.
All G Foods raised $ 16 million including $ 5 million through the federal government's Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The Sydney-based startup develops alternative proteins.
Azupay raised $ 10 million from Ellerston Capital. Azupay is the first fintech to offer an Australian-made consumer-to-business payment solution using the New Payments Platform (NPP) and PayID.
Unleash $ 8 million raised live under the guidance of SafetyCulture. Its software helps companies increase security and reduce costs by using video analytics in streamed visual inspections.
Verrency raised $ 6.5 million led by the Salter Brothers and Perennial. Its technology enables banks to offer features such as rounding up purchases to donate to a charity or transfer to a savings account, or to offset the carbon footprint of transactions.
Carina Biotech raised $ 5.4 million under the direction of the Minderoo Foundation. Adelaide-based Carina Biotech will use the cash injection to develop its "CAR-T" cell therapies for the treatment of cancers such as colon cancer.
CarClarity raised $ 3 million led by EVP for its car loan offering and as the "pioneer" of a new online car purchase service.
Yabble raised NZ $ 3.2 million from Movac, NZ Growth Capital Partners and its existing investors. Its main product, Hey Yabble, is said to be the world's first automated customer insights platform. Hey Yabble takes a brand's data and tells them how customers think about their products and services, in remarkable detail and almost in real time.
Remote Social raised $ 1M under the direction of Black Nova VC. It is building its so-called Culture-as-a-Service offering, which includes remote cultural activities, tools and an experience marketplace for teams.
Shouta has raised $ 1 million. Launched in December 2020, the app enables users to instantly gift or "call" any contact on their phone by sending them a link to a digital, prepaid Shouta Mastercard.
Steppe collected $ 535,000 . Steppen says it combined the best elements from social media, training apps, and TikTok to make training easier, more fun, and more social! The app is free.
Moxion raised an undisclosed amount from the Punakaiki Fund. Moxion provides services to the film and television series industry. His filmmaking workflow is used by the world's leading filmmakers.
VC / PE country
Pitch Venture Capital is aiming to raise its first fund – a $ 2 million fund to support 100 founders with $ 20,000 each.
Lux Group (Luxury Escapes) would like to raise $ 60-100 million through the ASX listed PE company Auctus Asset Management. Auctus will launch a new fund for the investment that will be open to large customers, family offices and discerning investors (an investment in the ASX company will not bring you any part of the Lux share cake). This is Lux's first external equity raise since it was founded in 2009. It has been projected to turn over $ 500 million in 2020 before Covid breaks out.
On the social
Facebook that sees everything. Facebook copied another product idea from Snap. Shock horror. This time a Snap Spectacles clone – Ray Ban Stories. The glasses have a built-in camera, microphone, loudspeaker and a touch panel. Exactly what the world needs.
Daring action that Zucks advertises. The children really don't think he's cool.
Twitter is the new Facebook. Twitter is testing a new feature similar to Facebook groups called Communities, where people can only tweet to one group (and not their entire follower base). It also tests “edge-to-edge” tweets, which, like Instagram, extend across the entire timeline, “so that your photos, GIFs and videos have more space to shine”.
The party is canceled. Do you remember house party? That video chat app that you (and 17 million others) downloaded in March 2020 and then never used again? Well it will be closed. Owner Epic Games is closing the party to focus on other projects.
When ex-Apple, Beats and Uber people build a webcam:
We secretly supported a team (made up of Apple, Beats, Uber) that was reviving a forgotten corner of consumer technology
The beta arrived today and the quality
is overwhelming …
Webcams, welcome to 2021. pic.twitter.com/xYe1APRMCX
– AlexisOhanian 7️⃣7️⃣6️⃣ (@alexisohanian) September 8, 2021
That's a wrap! We hope you enjoyed it.
Bex, Gavin and the team at Ignition Lane