Business stories of interest this week

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

1. Melbourne startup puts heat on google nest 

A Melbourne-based start-up that has made a smart thermostat with 45,000 customers in the US is raising $10 million at a $40 million company valuation, in a bid to go up against Google Nest for the 86 per cent of American commercial premises that still have manual controls on their air conditioning.

Planet Innovation, a consultant turned manufacturer, which is backed by investors including Macquarie Bank founder Allan Moss and food magnate Roy Manassen, will spin out the division behind its Zen thermostat, after it contributed $3.7 million of the group’s $47.8 million revenue in 2016-17. 


2. Surprising fact about your $1 coffee

CONVENIENCE chain 7-Eleven has kicked off a new initiative in an attempt to make a dent in the more than one billion takeaway coffee cups that end up in landfill every year.

The partnership with recycling group Simply Cups will see special collection bins rolled out in 200 7-Eleven stores and 50 larger locations such as universities and construction sites from March next year.


3. Fashion designers move into pasta business

The chiffon dress with the pasta print should have been the tipoff.

In September, the iconoclastic Italian designer house Dolce & Gabbana sent a parade of food-oriented outfits down the runway at the Paris show for its Spring 2018 collection, including high-waisted, carrot-and-radish-printed pants, a ruffled dress emblazoned with cannoli, and a skirt printed with cans of tomatoes.


4. Could James Bond’s next car be an Aston Martin? 

Aston Martin CEO Andrew Palmer talks to WSJ’s Lee Hawkins about the company’s DB11 sports car and plans for an SUV, to be called DBX. He also discusses the strategy for the 104-year-old company, which is having a financial resurgence after a string of leadership changes.


5. Apple warns Iphone X customers

APPLE’S iPhone X has the ability to produce darker blacks and a more vivid picture thanks to the company using an OLED display for the first time ever.

While a revamped display might be a welcome change for iPhone fans, the technology isn’t without its downsides.

Just days after launching the 10th anniversary edition iPhone X, Apple warned customers about the risk of “burn-in” on the device’s display.