Around the World: Our favourite tech stories this week

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Australia is a funny place. Historian Geoffrey Blainey once said: “Every city in Europe is closer to continental Asia than are Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.” But, despite Australia’s great distance from its nearest continental neighbours, we are far more connected with the world than you might think. Especially when it comes to tech startups and our shared dedication to making them a success.

Here’s our pick of the best tech stories from around the world – everywhere from Israel to Canada, with a bit of Australia in between…

Shared inbox startup Front raises $59 million round led by other tech CEOs

Founded in Paris, moved to San Fran and now invested in by Aussies. Meet Front – the shared inbox tool with the weight of the world’s “business angels” behind them, including our very own Mike Cannon-Brookes. Surrounding itself with successful leaders, from other companies who share Front’s values, is all part of the unusual funding strategy. 

Israel-based tech startup Iguazio scores $24M to accelerate growth and expand global penetration of its data science platform

This Israeli tech startup is powering everything from self-healing networks, to ride-hailing optimisation all through its data science platform, as the demand for AI increases. Iguazio hopes its fresh injection of $24 million will take its tech global.

Canada wins, US loses in global fight for high-tech workers

Is the Trump Effect turning vital tech talent away from the US? Probably. The Canadian tech industry is booming and it’s benefitting from tougher immigration rules being imposed over the border. Tech talent is flocking there and so are big businesses, with Google, Microsoft, Intel and Uber opening new offices in the Great White North.

Google is buying an Irish retail search startup called Pointy

Is Mark Cummins Ireland’s savviest tech entrepreneur? Once rejected by Google when he applied for a job there, Mark carried on regardless building his own startup enterprise called Plink, which he then sold to Google in 2010. And now he’s back at it with his second sale to Google – this time it’s Pointy, a box allowing retailers to keep their online inventory up-to-date in real time by attaching to barcode scanners and tracking what sells.

Every company will be a fintech company

Can every company derive revenue from financial services? This partner at Andrew Horrowtiz thinks so. In Angela Strange’s brilliant commentary about the potential that every business holds, she expertly delves into the idea that: “…startups will be able to launch companies faster and more cheaply. Existing financial services institutions will be able to introduce new products quickly – and spend less on IT maintenance. And most importantly, this means more choices, better products, and lower prices for consumers.”

Why tech has been slow to fight California wildfires, extreme weather

It’s a great question and one we should all be asking after recent events in Australia this summer. So why has tech been slow to address the challenges of environmental disasters such as bushfires? SiliconValley.com says the tech takes too long to prove and governments are too slow on the uptake. Sounds about right.

Tesla becomes America’s first $100bn publicly listed carmaker

Love it or hate it, Tesla, which was only founded in 2003, is now worth more than General Motors and Ford combined – despite never having a profitable year. Still the appetite for electric cars will only grow in the future and maybe our very own Baraja will play a key part with their development in Lidar technology for self-driving cars.

Digital banks Monzo, Revolut, Starling and N26 compared

One of the most important benchmarks for banks is how much users trust them; and how much money they’re willing to deposit. This article, complete with fancy bar chart gifs, compares the biggest names in Digi Banks and we think it’s worth paying attention to with Xinja, 86:400, Volt bank gaining traction here in Australia and Revolut moving into our local market too.