Tech trends for 2015

Resources Corner

The rapid rise of service industries moving online will build pace in 2015 and ASX listed companies like Trade Me Group are chasing growth. Trade Me Group has bought a 15 per cent stake in New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer lending platform Harmoney for $7.7 million. In the biotech side of things Benitec Biopharma has welcomed publications of independent research supporting Tribetarna for additional cancer indications. It’s beleived the findings provide potential for its Tribetarna program to expand beyond lung cancer. 
 
The year ahead in tech
 
It’s a new year and after a month of lists looking back on 2014 we’re now flush with lists telling us what to expect from 2015. Harvard Business Review have offered their view on the tech trends set to drive the year ahead. While it’s a fairly general list, it looks both forward and back to distill where disruption and change is most likely to be felt.
 
Artifical intelligence tops the list and while the threat of computers taking over the world isn’t a new concept there are plenty of reasons to believe the ability of computers to learn adapt and think will progress in leaps and bounds this year. 
 
This ties in with the internet-of-things, and while the term is painfully broad it’s clear that many useful objects around you will soon be networked, plus many that really don’t need to be. 
 
Privacy is never far from the rise of and concentration of online networks and there is no dubt that the weight of public opinion is putting privacy very high on the list of priorities when dealing with any of the above advancements. 

There’s plenty to look forward to.
 
Collaborate for growth
 
Software and services company Rewardle Holdings Limited (ASX:RXH) has signed leading Italian restaurant chain La Porchetta to its online loyalty platform. Rewardle beat out a number of loyalty technology vendors to win the service agreement for around 70 franchised restaurants across Australia.
 
Trade Me Group Limited (ASX:TME, NZE:TME) has bought a 15 per cent stake in New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer lending platform Harmoney. The dual-listed online marketplace and classified advertising platform says it will acquire the interest for $7.7 million. 
 
ICT provider Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) has successfully completed the acquisition of IT software and services company Anittel. Inabox paid $500,000 in cash and issued over 6 million in shares to Anittel shareholders in the deal. A further payment of $1.5 million could be due subject to the performance of the Anittel business in the second half of the 2015 financial year.
 
Bio-tech
 
Shares in Pro Medicus Limited (ASX:PME) lifted after inking a five-year $5 million deal with US outpatient group Zwanger-Pesiri. The imaging IT company says Zwanger-Pesiri will use its Visage 7 for primary diagnosis and clinical distribution of medical images. Pro Medicus believes the deal has potential for further upside through opening opportunities in the US outpatient/imaging centre market.
 
Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX:SRX) has completed patient recruitment in the FOXFIRE Global randomised controlled clinical study. The biotechnology and medical device company says more than 200 patients were recruited globally which came in ahead of expectations.
 
Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX:BLT) has welcomed publications of independent research supporting Tribetarna for additional cancer indications. The biotechnology company believes the findings from universities in Sydney and Germany provide potential for its Tribetarna program to expand beyond lung cancer. CEO and Managing Director Dr Peter French says it is pleasing to see Beneitec’s target gene for non-small cell lung cancer being implicated in an ever-widening range of solid cancers.
 
Alchemia Limited (ASX:ACL) says it has received a $6.5 million cash refund for the 2014 financial year under the Australian Government’s Research and Development Tax Incentive program. Alchemia saw its share price plummet from $0.62 to just $0.11 in October 2014 after disappointing results in the Phase 3 trial of its treatment for colorectal cancer. The drug company lost CEO Thomas Liquard soon after. The stock is currently trading at just under 9c per share. 
 
Solid results
 
Ziptel Limited (ASX:ZIP) has seen its share price jump more than 14 per cent on news that phase one of ZipT’s pilot test returned positive results. The sim card and VOIP communication company says its ZipT app, which allows users to make calls and send SMS through their mobile, performed strongly in a two week test that involved 1,000 users.
 
Integrated Research Limited (ASX:IRI) expects to deliver profit growth in the first half of the 2015 financial year on the back of strong sales across all product lines. The software provider has forecast it will report a profit after tax of between $7 million to $8 million for the six month period to the end of December 2014.
 
Internet supplier iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN) was left red-faced yesterday after extreme heat in Perth left thousands of customers across the country without internet access.  The company shut down some of its systems at its Perth data centre around 4.30pm Sydney time yesterday afternoon after the mercury hit 44 degrees earlier in the day. The disconnection affected customers in Victoria, NSW and South Australia as well as WA.