Forsyth Real Estate begins accepting bitcoin
Forsyth Real Estate, the 115-year-old agency on Sydney’s north shore, has begun accepting bitcoin for house deposits and property advertising. Forsyth is the first real estate agency in Australia to accept the virtual cryptocurrency.
They are offering this payment service to their clients through a partnership with the Australian bitcoin payments provider CoinJar. This Melbourne-based company, founded in 2013 by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhao, will process any bitcoin payments made to the company. Forsyth became a supporter of the sometimes volatile currency because it allows overseas transactions with less lees and exchange rate fluctuations.
Read related articles from Business Review Australia:
- Bitcoin Part One: What is cryptocurrency?
- Bitcoin Part Two: Should your business accept bitcoins?
- Tap & Grow
"Prior to launching, we had discussions with our financial division who outlined the risks and opportunities of bitcoin and we were happy with our findings," said James Snodgrass, Forsyth managing director. By offering another avenue for online payment, the agency has opened the door for more international investors and expats entering the prominent Sydney housing market.
The volatility of the currency has kept many other companies and real estate agencies at bay. Anthony Walls, the director of Max Walls International Real Estate in Manly disagrees with the idea of the currency, seeing it as too risky a move for a company. Several questions have been raised about the future of bitcoin after Mt Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges was hacked and $548 million worth of bitcoins were stolen. The exchange, thought to handle up to 70 percent of the world’s bitcoin transactions, has since shut down.
Still, many companies are still beginning to accept the currency. Would you accept bitcoin at your business?
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.