Business stories of interest this week

Business stories from the past week, compiled by Jason Maywald:

1. Canva follows atlassian into the $US1billion ranks 

Online design and publishing platform Canva has become the first Australian start-up since Atlassian to join the elite ranks of Silicon Valley unicorns. They have received a valuation in excess of $US1 billion ($1.28 billion).

The valuation is based on a $US40 million series A funding round. It is the sixth funding round since the company was founded 4½ years ago by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams.


2. How Bondi Born launched a bikini empire by exporting first 

Until recently Australian-made luxury swimwear label Bondi Born could only be found in upmarket retailers in Europe, America and the Caribbean.

With the launch last May of its ecommerce websites in Australia, the US and Europe, Australian women can now join the fashionably swim-suited by the pool or at the beach.


3. Amazon fails to dampen Christmas cheer for local retailers 

The nation’s traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers have enjoyed a better-than-expected Christmas trading period. It seems new competitor Amazon failed to ruin their festivities.

A Christmas review by a leading investment bank has concluded the retail sector posted a “solid” result for the most important trading period of the year. This is despite a gloomy lead in throughout November and early December.

“Try as he might the Grinch couldn’t steal Xmas — and neither could Amazon,” Deutsche Bank retail analyst Michael Simotas said in a report for investors.


4. Aussies make extra money from hobbies in entrepreneurial boom

Entrepreneurial Aussies are set to make 2018 the year of the ‘side hustle’. Improved technology is enabling more people to turn a hobby or idea into a second income stream.

Recent research by accounting company Xero revealed 62 per cent of Australians are seeking additional income streams.  Nearly a quarter already have a side business on top of their regular income.

The Ageless Entrepreneur report, which canvassed 1000 respondents, also noted that a further 38 per cent intended to start a venture in the future. And not all are in it for the money, according to Trent Innes, Xero Australia managing director.


5.  Billabong recommends $198m bid from Quiksilver 

Surf brand Billabong International’s directors have unanimously recommended a takeover bid from the US owners of Quiksilver worth about $198 million.

Queensland-based Billabong last month received an indicative and non-binding proposal from Boardriders. The offer was to acquire all of the company’s shares for $1 each.

They’ve now entered into a scheme of arrangement, which Billabong said had limited conditions.