This Week in Australian Startups - 22nd March, 2023
If you haven’t already watched the Microsoft event, make sure to watch it on YouTube.
Nadella sets the tone by recounting some of the most seminal moments bringing a more ‘symbiotic relationship between humans and computing’, and how we’ve been using AI on autopilot for a while now, powering many online experiences from search to social media.
Microsoft is bringing that symbiotic relationship between humans and AI to fruition with Copilot. Yes GPT-4 can do a lot of things for you, but it won’t always be right and Microsoft leaned into this heavily during the demo - showing manual fixes, corrections and updates to what Copilot was creating.
This brings something really tangible to how businesses can harness the power of AI, and embedding deeper into the Microsoft suite of tools. Whilst individually (with some exceptions) Microsoft products are inferior to what else is on the market (ie Teams vs Slack), the glue that brings this all together will be Copilot making the sum greater than its parts.
In this ‘year of efficiency’, businesses particularly enterprises are already on the path to consolidating and reducing spend - we’ve seen that in the last few years with the rapid of adoption of Teams outpacing Slack. Yes, there’ll be better CRMs than Dynamics but will it connect with Copilot’s Business Chat? CIOs and buyers of tools will be heavily incentivised to look at buying everything Microsoft, and it creates an opportunity for Microsoft to increase their ARPU with Copilot most likely being a new subscription tier within Microsoft 365.
Whilst Google has already announced AI features across Workspace they have missed the beat several times now, clearly on the back foot and playing catch up - it truly seems their current strategy is to react to what Microsoft is doing.
Microsoft is operating quickly to many people’s surprise, and coupled with its integration of business software it puts them in a very strong position to maintain this advantage moving forward.
At least for now, Google should be worried.
Spotify’s new design is part TikTok, part Instagram, and part YouTube (The Verge)
Latitude Financial warns customer data breach could widen and hack 'remains active' (ABC)
Hypersonix: Aussie drone startup selected by US military set to clock Mach 7 (StartupSmart)
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear Resigns After 16 Years (Gizmodo)
Credit Suisse bought out by UBS as banking fears claim big victim (Axios)
TikTok Reportedly Considers Breaking Off From ByteDance if The Bans Continue (Gizmodo)
Meta looking into new social platform that could rival Twitter (The Hill)
BBC tells employees to delete TikTok from work phones: report (New York Post)
Facebook Is Working on a Twitter Competitor Codenamed ‘P92’ That Will Be Interoperable With Mastodon (Daring Fireball)
Former Meta employee says staff were 'hoarded like Pokémon cards' (Fortune)
People Trying to Use Facebook's Leaked AI to Improve Their Tinder Matches (VICE)
Apple delays certain projects as it reallocates R&D spending to cut costs (9to5Mac)
Twitter testing government ID-based verification, new screenshots show (TechCrunch)
Washington prepares for war with Amazon (POLITICO)
ByteDance is reportedly under investigation for surveillance of US journalists (Engadget)
UK considering fully banning TikTok, minister says (The Independent)
'Uncharted territory': How would a TikTok ban in the US work? (ABC News)
Use of Meta tracking tools found to breach EU rules on data transfers (TechCrunch)
Credit Suisse's $3.2 billion cut-price sale signals an ongoing crisis that could expose unicorn fintechs (Business Insider)
‘Not going to beg’: why entrepreneurs of color are increasingly self-funding (The Guardian)
Google-backed Anthropic launches Claude, an AI chatbot that’s easier to talk to (The Verge)
Apple is reportedly experimenting with language-generating AI (TechCrunch)
OpenAI's GPT-4 Is Closed Source and Shrouded in Secrecy (VICE)
Meet the team developing an open source ChatGPT alternative (TechCrunch)
Elon Musk Is Super Pissed OpenAI Became Successful After He Left (Futurism)
AI-Image Tool Midjourney Launches Magazine (Forbes)
ChatGPT bug temporarily exposes AI chat histories to other users (The Verge)
Amazon to lay off 9,000 more workers in addition to earlier cuts (CNBC)
Hundreds of Google workers in Zurich walked out after 200 of their colleagues got laid off (Business Insider)
Klaviyo conducts companywide layoffs (TechCrunch)
Zuckerberg grilled at staff meeting after Meta layoff announcement (The Hill)
Laid-off Meta employees vent after latest culling in ‘year of efficiency’ (New York Post)
Meta’s ‘Year of Efficiency’ Still Looks Costly (The Wall Street Journal)
I was just laid off from Meta. We knew more cuts were coming before Mark Zuckerberg even told us, and the way the layoffs were handled was very cold. (Business Insider)
Big Tech’s Cuts Now Hitting Growth Areas (The Wall Street Journal)
SVB Collapse Could Trigger More Corporate M&A, Tech Leaders Say (The Wall Street Journal)
SVB employees blame remote work for bank failure (Axios)
Artifact co-founder Kevin Systrom on the SVB crisis, its further impacts and future of tech (TechCrunch)
Silicon Valley Bank collapse means startup founders of color lose one of their biggest financial havens (Fortune)
What happens to Silicon Valley without Silicon Valley Bank? (Vox)
Silicon Valley Bank’s crash is providing valuable lessons all over the world (TechCrunch)
Silicon Valley and the landscape after SVB rescue (Axios)
The story behind Founders Fund and the run on Silicon Valley Bank (Axios)
Venture Catastrophists (Scott Galloway)
Australian Funding Rounds
Female-founded edtech startup Pivot banks $1.4 million to support student and teacher wellbeing (Startup Daily)
Hypnotherapy medtech Mindset Health raises $17.8 million Series A (Startup Daily)
Perth-based Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium and the EPE and Lunar Outpost Oceania consortium just scored $8 million in federal funding (Startup Daily)
Food delivery start-up Our Cow completes record $2 million crowdfunding campaign (Inside FMCG)
Pain Management Startup MoreGoodDays Raises $3.5M In First Fund Raise (ONIMPACT)
Proptech startup Downsizer bags $3.75 million in Seed round to help boomers move out and on (Startup Daily)
Dish disruptor Quasar Satellite Technologies raises $6m in pre-Series A round (Business News Australia)
Agora, the two-sided marketplace for livestock wins Accelerating Commercialisation Grant of $550,000 (LinkedIn)
Via confirms it's acquired trip planning app Citymapper to boost its transit tech (TechCrunch)
Stripe now valued at $50B following $6.5B raise (TechCrunch)
Tilia raises $22M to handle payments for digital economies (VentureBeat)
Wingspan raises $14M for its all-in-one payroll platform for contractors (TechCrunch)
Mapping drone startup Wingtra is charting a new future after landing $22M (TechCrunch)
Technical interview platform Karat snaps up Triplebyte to add adaptive quizzes for engineers (TechCrunch)
Web3 Game Publisher Jungle Raises $6 Million for Mobile NFT Shooter (Decrypt)
Fairmatic raises $46M to bring AI to commercial auto insurance (TechCrunch)
Ryan Reynolds Sells Mint Mobile for $1.35 Billion to T-Mobile (WSJ)
Rippling raises $500M in Series E financing (Rippling)
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