Around the World: Our favourite tech stories this month

Around the World: Our favourite tech stories this month

Around the World: Our favourite tech stories this month


‘Unprecedented’ was the People’s Choice Award ‘Word of the Year’ for 2020. And as we move into our 3rd month of 2021, we are still seeing many unprecedented developments. In the worlds of Coronavirus and politics. As well as in the worlds of tech and business - just look at what’s happening with the Gamestop share price driven by WallStreetBets.

With so much happening, here’s our pick of the best tech stories from around the world…

Active Campaign raised $100m to continue the growth of their Customer Experience Automation (CXA) product to help all businesses build meaningful connections to their customers. Office space isn’t everything without purpose and culture but it certainly doesn’t do any harm, check out their head office in Chicago.

Drones in Scotland delivering Covid samples 

Technology for good! We’re sure it won’t be long before a delivery app can have your favourite dish flown to you via a drone because that’s very convenient but where genuine impact is being had is for flying medical supplies to people in genuine need.

Transferwise to Wise - Different name, same great product! 

Wise currently processes £4.5bn in payments every month and has 10m customers. It reported a 70% growth in revenue, to £303m, across the year to March 2020, as well as a doubling of profit. Not bad numbers for a company rumored to be IPO’ing in 2021. 

Bumble IPO - Founder female Billionaire 

What amazing story this is, Wolfe Herd rang the opening bell from Bumble’s offices in Austin with her 1-year-old son by her side. The IPO makes Wolfe Herd, 31, the youngest woman to take a company public and made her the world's youngest self-made female billionaire. She follows in the footsteps of Katrina Lake, the Stitch Fix founder and CEO, whose 2017 IPO at age 34—with her own baby in her arms—held the record Wolfe Herd broke. Only about 20 women have ever taken the companies they founded public.

UK Fintech appoints female CEO

Monzo announced Carol Nelson as CEO of their US operation as they continue their expansion outside of the UK, Carol spent a decade as the CEO of Cascade Bank in the US. This announcement coincides with news that Monzo will raise another £50m from new and existing investors.

Salesforce 9-5 is dead!

Launching 3 flex options that allows for fully remote, office based or a flex option which will mean 1-3 days office based a week for tasks that are harder to complete via video conference.

Not to be out done, Spotify have joined the remote bandwagon too allowing their people to work from any country. How will this impact other companies who don’t offer such flexible arrangements? How will remuneration work for people in different cities and country facing different tax and cost of living expenses?

Ownbackup raises $167.5m

A leading cloud data protection platform, today announced a Series D investment of $167.5 million co-led by Insight Partners, Salesforce Ventures, and Sapphire Ventures, with participation from existing investors Innovation Endeavors, Vertex Ventures, and Oryzn Capital. Following a $50 million financing announced just six months ago, OwnBackup’s cumulative funding now totals over $267.5 million. 

“Since day one, we’ve believed that no company operating in the cloud should ever lose data. We are laser-focused on achieving our vision of a single pane of glass for companies to manage, backup, and secure all of their SaaS data,” said Sam Gutmann, CEO of OwnBackup.

New Amazon HQ 

As Jeff Bezos steps aside and new CEO Andy Jassy steps in Amazon announced a new headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.The building will feature an all-electric central heating and cooling system that will run on 100% renewable energy from a southern Virginia solar farm.

Not short of cash to deploy no expense has been spared however it does closely resemble an emoji!

Leveraging Asynchronous Communication

Thought provoking and relevant piece as leveraging different ways of communicating with different people in different situations has become so pivotal - ‘While virtual communication is more efficient, in-person communication is more effective for emotionally charged situations and relationship-building. But, digging a little deeper, that misses the power of asynchronous communication to enable diverse input and others’ time management choices.’

The perils of video conferences and filters!  

A Texas lawyer appeared before a judge as a cat, after being unable to change a video filter.

‘I don’t know how to remove it … I’m here live. I’m not a cat’

Just be careful with your filters next time you jump on a video call!


They say ‘when nothing is certain, everything is possible’ and the changes in the landscape triggered by things like Covid and trends like remote working and a renewed drive toward digital transformation are definitely unsettling the traditional status quo. To keep updated and explore the local tech scene in Sydney check out the map.