Australia Institute: corporate crime now endemic
Corporate crime is becoming increasingly prevalent in Australia, according to a new report carried out by the Australia Institute. Regulators are investigating hundreds of cases every year, with no indication of any reduction.
The Australia Institute - a think-tank - has released a new report called Corporate Malfeasance in Australia that highlights the degree of corporate wrongdoing among corporations. Perhaps the most worrying revelation is the reduced number of regulators with the authority and resources to pursue and investigate corporate criminals.
Agencies that monitor corporate malfeasance have seen their staffing cut by almost 4,000 (representing 14.9 percent of total staff) – since the 2013-14 budget.
The report strongly recommends that the current government reinstates staffing budgets and resources for relevant agencies such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Asic) to help fight the problem.
Another key take-home point that the report highlighted was the absence of a database in Australia that gives a complete view of the wrongdoing. The report demonstrates thst Asic has concluded 3,115 cases against corporations over the last four-and-a-half years, of which 2,095 were criminal.
The report says: “This is unlikely to represent the full extent of non-compliance by corporations with relevant legal requirements because Asic, like most regulators, has limited resources and a reluctance to take formal proceedings unless there is a very high prospect of success.”
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Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.