Federal Government backs huge irrigation project in northern Adelaide
The construction of a massive water recycling project worth AU$156mn looks set to go ahead after the Federal Government agreed to part-fund the development.
The irrigation scheme, which will deliver 12bn additional litres of recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, is set to create 3,700 jobs and add more than AU$500mn to South Australia’s economy.
This represents a 60% increase in water output from the site at a time when concerns have been raised about Australia’s ability to handle predicted hikes in urban populations. The extra capacity will significantly boost the area’s ability to farm commercial crops.
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South Australia Premier Jay Wetherill said: “This scheme is about supporting our State’s primary production industry and Adelaide’s northern suburbs by creating jobs and diversifying the local economy.
“The Federal Government has made a valuable contribution to an initiative which will provide economic growth and stability in the Northern Adelaide Plains.
“The scheme’s focus is helping South Australia to be competitive in the export market by transforming the region into the national leader in intensive, high-tech food production, as well as drive employment growth and attract new skills and talent into the state.”
This news may come as some crumb of comfort to those facing redundancies in northern Adelaide following the announced closure of Holden’s car manufacturing facility. South Australia’s administration is looking to high tech food production to fill the void.
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.