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  • The Ignition Lane Wrap: Life in the fast lane. And call roadside assistance

The Ignition Lane Wrap: Life in the fast lane. And call roadside assistance

Welcome to Ignition trajectory’s Tech Wrap, where they cut through the noise to bring you their favorite insights from the tech and startup world.

Ignition Lane works with aspiring business leaders to apply the Startup Mindset to their technology, product and commercialization problems.

This wrap goes out free for subscribers. Don’t forget you can see Gavin Appel regularly on the Startup Daily show at ausbiz. If you miss it, you can catch up on the week’s shows here.

Here’s their review of all the big news in tech.

Aussie tech news

Tiger’s growth finance implosion hits Australian shores. This week The information revealed New York-based Tiger Global’s $12.7 billion ‘peak tech boom’ 2021 fund posted a 20% loss at the end of 2022. Tiger was the world’s busiest investor in 2021, driving extraordinary valuations and growth at the expense of everything… until the era of easy money came to a screeching halt.

In Australia, Tiger led Mr. Yum by breaking $89 million Series A (mobile food/beverage ordering), TradeSquare’s $28 million (wholesale marketplace), and MilkRun’s $75 million Series A (15-minute grocery delivery).

Now, a little over a year later, Mr. Yum has made his second round of layoffs, MilkRun has collapsed resulting in 400 layoffs, and TradeSquare has stopped trading in Australia while shifting its direction to “a new business model.”

The startup world flocked to the blogosphere to defend AirTree and other local investors for participating in the Tiger bandwagon, and plead the case That startup failure is a healthy ecosystem function.

Time of day. Turns out the grocery giants agree with MilkRun that there’s a market need for instant delivery. Just days after MilkRun shut down, Uber and Coles have announced a partnership allowing customers to receive groceries from 500 stores within an hour. Each delivery is packaged and delivered by an Uber driver or passenger. Woolworths also partners with Uber Eats for fast delivery.

What is your moat? Instagram launched a new feature allowing users to add five links to their profiles, which creators said was one of the most requested features. TechCrunch:

in reality, it’s also an example of how Instagram’s failure to adapt to the needs of that community has allowed alternative solutions to thrive… The platforms prefer to keep users locked in Instagram or their own network, rather than potentially losing time and user involvement.

The move clouds the future for “link in bio” companies, including Melbourne-based Linktree (last valued at US$1.3 billion). Linktree’s CEO and Founder Alex Zaccaria took to Twitter defend their value proposition.

Link in bios – a feature so necessary that even Meta used Linktree

Dare country. Square Peg promoted James Tynan to partner. Co Ventures launched its first $5 million pre-seed fund, led by Maxine Minter. Alan and Carol Schwartz will commit $100 million to green climate investments.

Cut Through Venture’s latest figures show that only $661 million was raised in the first three months of 2023, compared to $1.8 billion in the last quarter of 2022.

Stupid infractions. Personal loan and financial service provider Latitude suffered one of the largest data breaches in Australian history, affecting approximately 14 million customer records in Australia and NZ. Stolen data includes details for 7.9 million driver’s licenses and about 53,000 passport numbers. The attack came from a third-party vendor and involved stolen employee credentials. Meanwhile, one class action has been launched for millions of Australians involved in last year’s Optus breach.

Crypto corner. ASIC cancelled the derivatives license for the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance. Another crypto exchange, Independent Reserve, bought the Bitcoin.com.au brand for $3 million. NAB completed one cross-border transaction with NAB-issued stablecoin – a world first by a major financial institution on a layer-one public blockchain. Bitcoin has surged over A$40,000 for the first time since June 2022 and a16z has State of Crypto report.

Mighty Melbourne. Big things for tech in Melbourne: Catapult Race Watch software was used by seven of the ten F1 Grand Prix teams and motorsport’s governing body, FIA, to analyze thousands of statistics in real time. Envato made the cut again in the 4th edition of a16z Marketplace 100 (The US grocery marketplace Instacart took the No. 1 spot). Customer service company Cyara acquired Irish communications testing company Spearline in a deal reportedly worth $150 million.

LaunchVic has chosen nine potential future billion dollar companies for its 30×30 program: JET Charge (EV charging), Preezie (eCommerce experience), Thriday (business finance management), Intelligence Bank (marketing operations and compliance), Halaxy (health care practice management), Fourthrev (EdTech – digital careers), Vendor Panel (procurement management ), XY Sense (workplace sensors) and Great Wrap (compostable stretch film).

Generative AI everything

Designer. Canva added 40 million new customers in the past six months and now has 3,500 employees, with plans to hire another 1,000 this year. Taking on Adobe, the design platform unveiled a range of generative AI products ranging from text to image generation, a ‘magic’ editor, automatic branding kits and automatic copywriting. The products stem from the acquisition of Kaleido.ai, an Austrian visual AI start-up, in February 2021. Like ChatGPT, Canva’s AI model has some learning to do:

It me! Don’t worry designers, you can keep your day jobs for now. I asked Canva’s Magic Edit tool to remove my glasses. Instead, it added these serial killer specs, smoothed my brows, and added a decade or five of eye wrinkles.

AI bankers. Bloomberg has released a new AI model, BloombergGPT, designed to understand financial language and process complex financial information such as market trends, risk assessments and portfolio optimization. The technology can be used in various financial applications, for example asset management or trading.

Text-to-video. Runway showcased its new generative video model, Gen-2, which is said to be available to users in the coming weeks.

Aldrake. “Heart on My Sleeve”, a synthetic song with Drake’s voice went viral. No one knows who is behind the ‘Ghostwriter’ account that released the song, leading to all sorts of conspiracies:

Ghostwriter’s arrival is strange, even by viral TikTok standards. “Heart on My Sleeve” could be a lame viral hit, a shoddy stunt by a crypto-adjacent startup, a revenge joke by Drake himself, or the start of the legal battle over AI-generated work sweeping the internet. Maybe a combination. Whatever it is, something strange is going on…

Existential risk. Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and other technology leaders have signed an open letter urging six months dwell on the development of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4 (OpenAI’s latest major language model). The authors say advanced AI poses a risk to society, with the potential to spread misinformation, replace humans and reshape civilization.

Surprise, surprise. Just a few days later, reports surfaced that Musk is working on his own OpenAI rival, which he thinks he could call TruthGPT – a “maximum truth-seeking AI that tries to understand the nature of the universe” and that “hopefully does more good than evil.” Certainly.

Opportunity in business technology

The last Battery Ventures Cloud Software Spending Report says the death of corporate technology spending has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, 73% of respondents expect their business technology budget to stay the same or increase in 2023.

The report contains some useful tips for those of you in enterprise tech:

  1. Renewals are the number one driver of cuts, so you need to aggressively nurture relationships well in advance of renewal and focus on understanding and articulating customer health, product usage, and value.
  2. Adoption of new technologies is still happening, but expect slower sales cycles in the current environment.
  3. Evaluate cloud solution provider (CSP) marketplaces as part of your GTM strategy. But this isn’t a “build it and they’ll come” solution.
  4. Similar to point 3 – don’t wait for bottom up and PLG sell moves to save you in this market. These should be part of, not all, your sales strategy given the conservative nature of buyers in today’s market.

The end of the world

Netflix DVDs. After 25 years and 5.2 billion DVDs, Netflix is ​​ending its DVD-by-mail business. The service peaked in 2010, when about 20 million people subscribed to the service. Netflix also has its fourth quarter Results: It added 1.75 million subscribers, bringing the total subscriber base worldwide to 232.5 million; revenue rose 4% year-over-year to US$8.1 billion – slightly less than analysts had predicted; and profits reached $1.3 billion.

Alibaba conglomerate no more. Alibaba does a big restriction, split into six different business units, each with their own P&L and minority shareholders: cloud intelligence, global digital commerce, domestic e-commerce, local services (e.g. delivery), logistics and entertainment/media. Interestingly, the announcement came on the same day Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma reappeared in China after being away for more than a year.

Twitter. Elon Musk Twitter merged with X Corp, signaling his vision of an “everything app.” Celebrities cry because Twitter has taken away free blue verification marks. Oh and Twitter is also no longer responding to requests from journalists. Instead, the company’s press mail is set to automatically respond with the poop emoji.

Moore. Co-founder of Intel Gordon Moore passed away at the age of 94. A pioneer of the semiconductor industry, he was known for formulating Moore’s Law in 1965, which predicted that the number of components on a chip would double every few years. Intel CEO, Pat Gelsinger:

He was instrumental in revealing the power of transistors and inspired technologists and entrepreneurs throughout the decades. We at Intel continue to be inspired by Moore’s Law and intend to pursue it until the periodic table is exhausted. Gordon’s vision lives on as our true north

On that happy note, we better end with some inspiration. The Steve Jobs archive released Make something greata curated collection of speeches, correspondence, and photographs by Steve Jobs

It’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed it.

Bex, Gavin and the team at Ignition Lane


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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