Aussie drone business moves to US to follow funding; DesignCrowd reaches $20 million in payments: Midday Roundup

Aussie drone business moves to US to follow funding; DesignCrowd reaches $20 million in payments: Midday Roundup

An Australian drone company has high-tailed it out of the country to follow funding from a US university.

Flirtey, a Sydney-based aerial delivery startup, has secured a partnership with the University of Nevada in Reno that will allow it to develop its technology in a bid to tackle the US market, which is expected to soon open up commercial drone delivery.

Flirtey is one of the world’s first unmanned aerial vehicle delivery companies and is planning to provide drone delivery as a service, with a fleet of drones making autonomous deliveries.

“Flirtey is partnering with the University of Nevada, Reno to pioneer an industry, to develop safe UAV delivery technology and to position ourselves as a first mover when the US commercial market opens up,” said chief executive Matthew Sweeny.

DesignCrowd reaches $20 million in payments

Australian crowdsourcing platform, DesignCrowd, which helps businesses crowdsource graphic design work from around the world, has reached $20 million worth of payments to its designers.

The startup, which launched in 2008, has doubled its sales since last year and has announced it will set up a presence in San Francisco.

The company says the US is its largest market, with 40% of overall sales coming from the United States.

“While DesignCrowd started in Australia – it is now a global marketplace, with users in over 100 countries,” said chief executive, Alec Lynch.

“The US became our largest source of sales without any staff there, and it remains a huge opportunity for further growth. Setting up an office in San Francisco and hiring our first staff there is incredibly exciting and will allow us to continue growing there.”

Sharemarket directionless on opening

The Australian sharemarket opened “directionless” ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly interest rate decision and in the absence of a lead from US and European markets.

At the official market open, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 3.9 points, or 0.07%, at 5,625.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 3.6 points, or 0.06%, at 5,625.78 points.

Tim Radford, global investment manager at Rivkin, said stocks were flat after directionless leads from European equities and with Wall Street closed for the Labor Day holiday.

“Looking locally, the statement on interest rates by the Reserve Bank of Australia will be closely scrutinised today, with market participants looking for any changes to forward guidance,” he said in a statement.

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