Australian Paper Gets Contract Extension from Government, More Support Still Required
The Australian Government has extended their contract for security passport paper from Australian Paper and their Shoalhaven Mill through June 2015. However, for Mill to remain viable, broader support for Shoalhaven’s range of recycled and value-added papers is necessary.
Mill manager Bruce Borchardt, thanked Ann Sudmalis, federal member for Gilmore, for encouraging the Australian Government to continue to buy passport paper from Shoalhaven.
“Shoalhaven Mill makes some of the best special purpose papers in the world – including watermarked security paper, recycled papers, coloured papers and heavy weight papers - and support for the entire range is needed,” said Borchardt.
Borchardt also made a direct appeal to the government, stating that using their products aligns with the governments sustainability plans.
“Australian Paper calls on the Australian Government to recognise the sustainability advantages of Australian made speciality paper when organising the printing of reports, gazettes, business stationery, ballot papers, business cards and brochures. Australian Government procurement for printed materials utilising recycled papers from Shoalhaven would be in line with its own ICT Sustainability plan, and would create an example for others to follow in mapping out a positive future for the Shoalhaven Mill.
“Without broad recognition from printers, paper merchants and Government of the value that local paper manufacturing adds to our communities, there is a very real risk that Shoalhaven Mill will not remain in operation,” Borchardt added.
The mill provides around 100 jobs locally. Their full range of products includes recycled paper and chemically sensitised and watermarked security papers. No other manufacturer in the country provides the specific security paper. Australian Paper, of which Shoalhaven Mill is a part of, contributes over $750 million in value-add to the economy each year. The company supports around 6,000 full-time jobs, both directly and indirectly.
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.