Oz Startup News – Week Ending 15 April 2018


This Weeks Top Ten Posts

Behind Spaceship’s ASIC fine: drama, tension, and false funding news

“Late last year reports surfaced that Spaceship had raised $50 million from investors including Amplo VC…..the founder of Amplo said the reports were “erroneous” and that “Amplo has no investment in Spaceship”.”

“Leading start-up investors describe the culture at Spaceship as “dysfunctional” even as they note its success at winning customers and rapid growth. “

By John McDuling from The Sydney Morning Herald

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Vinomofo says the Glaucus comments on Blue Sky’s investment in the online wine business are inaccurate

Digital retailer Vinomofo says research on its business by the short seller Glaucus Research, and referred to in its note on fund manager Blue Sky, is inaccurate.

While Glaucus says the wine site will “likely run out of cash without further investment”, Vinomofo says it is now a break-even business, reinvesting profits into marketing and growth.

Read more about what’s happening with Blue Sky and Glaucus Research, and the associated story of Vinomofo…..

By Chris Pash from Business Insider

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Millennial super fund Spaceship has been fined for misleading conduct

The company behind Spaceship superannuation — an online super fund pitched at millennials with a focus on tech stocks — has been fined by the corporate regulator for false and misleading conduct.

The Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) said Spaceship Financial Services Pty Ltd — the promoter of the Spaceship Super Fund — has paid a $12,600 fine for infringements under the ASIC Act. Spaceship’s trustee company Tidswell Financial Services Pty Ltd has also paid a $12,600 fine.


By Sam Jacobs from Business Insider

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Local app developer Robert Hanning faces the prospect of going bust after ATO demands grant back for Health Hunter app

A local app developer faces the prospect of going bust after the Australian Taxation Office demanded the return of a $35,000 grant it claims it mistakenly gave him 18 months ago.

Robert Hanning, creator of the Health Hunter app which links users with healthy food options, got the Research and Development Tax Incentive grant in 2016 after making an application through a consultancy. But late last year he got a letter from the ATO saying it was reviewing the eligibility of some grant recipients.

By Kim MacDonald from The West Australian

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Are our government initiatives enough to help young Australian startups?

A healthy startup ecosystem is vital to any economy’s innovation and tech community, with many countries around the world investing vast amounts of money to ensure they are at the forefront of the industry.

But with different countries prioritizing start-up and innovation sector growth in different ways, the unique and varying approaches taken by many countries have yielded some interesting results.

So, let’s see what’s on offer!
By Ben Zubreckyi from 61 Bit

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Australian tech wreck Yuuzoo under Singapore police investigation

It’s getting a bit sticky at Australian-founded, Singapore-listed tech group Yuuzoo, set up by Sydney music entrepreneur Ron Creevey and former Nokia Asia Pacific chief executive Thomas Zilliacus.

Yuuzoo, which makes bespoke social networks for clients (whatever that is), has spent the last few months fighting off allegations by American investors and a conga line of former Yuuzoo chief financial officers that the group has unusual business practices.

By Sarah Danckert from The Sydney Morning Herald

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Why this 20-year-old entrepreneur is tackling mental health in startups

‘Rollercoaster’ is a word Ben Coughlin frequently uses to describe his experience as a young entrepreneur, and his voice betrays the exhaustion of going through so many dramatic highs and lows.

Here’s why tackling mental health in startups is important for Ben…

By Andrew Miller from Techly

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Don’t build a company – focus on your value proposition and the problem you’re solving

Startups are the new black. Approximately three startups are founded every minute. More than $50 billion in venture funding is invested in startups every year.

But nine out of ten startups will fail within three years of being founded. Not great odds. So why do founders keep at it?

By Jamie Pride in Startup Daily

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Aussie billion-dollar success story

News.com.au interviews Melanie Perkins from Canva who says “The most powerful element of Canva’s growth so far has been word of mouth and people sharing it with their colleagues, friends, and family. Also enabling Canva to be accessed in people’s native language is core to our ethos of making Canva accessible to everyone across the globe.”

By News.com.au

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How homegrown startup Shootsta is taking its video technology to the world


Expanding to three international offices in under six months is no easy feat for a growing startup, but that’s the path video tech startup Shootsta decided to take. The startup’s scalable model helped it acquire 22 new clients in the past three months, resulting in 116 clients globally.

Moylan tells StartupSmart Shootsta has reached an annual turnover of $5.5 million, with a global team of 41 staff. But as the business cements its presence overseas, Moylan and his co-founder Mike Pritchett are looking to hire more.
By Caleb Triscari from Smart Company

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