$4m to Fund Vodafone Jobs in Tasmania
In a move to create more jobs in Tasmania, $4 million will go towards doubling the number of employees at the Kingston Vodafone Hutchison call centre.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the plan yesterday, saying it will not only create telecommunications jobs – 750 total over the next 12 months – but also additional positions in the construction industry as the Huntingfield site is expanded. In order to encourage Vodafone to expand offshore operations, the Tasmanian government will fork over $850,000 to cover infrastructure costs and provide a perk to new employees by waiving their payroll tax.
"In addition to the direct employment which would flow from this proposal, there will be significant additional benefits from the building and operation of new infrastructure and the flow on effects to the local economy," she said. "This is a vote of confidence in the abilities of local employees to provide the level of service required by Vodafone to meet its customer needs."
Julie Collins, the federal member for Franklin, the electorate where the Vodafone centre operates, said, “Tasmanians are telling me that they want more job opportunities and more economic activity and that is exactly what we've been able to deliver here."
While supporting the local economy, Vodafone customers will enjoy the ability to speak with someone locally, among other benefits. "We've been listening to our customers," said Vodafone chief executive officer Bill Morrow."Australians want fast, reliable coverage, they want consistent, high quality service, and they want the confidence to use their mobile without worrying about the cost.
Overall, the project offers an example of how well-planned partnerships can effectively boost the Tasmanian economy.
Premier Lara Giddings said, "This is great example of state and federal Labor working together with the private sector to grow jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians.”
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.