World business news 09.06-15.06

Keelvar raises $24 million to streamline supply chain buying

Supply chain problems caused — or worsened — by the epidemic are still affecting businesses across the board. For example, according to a U.S. Census Small Business Pulse survey conducted last year, 36 percent of small businesses reported delays with domestic suppliers. Each missed shipment or supply shortage has the potential to be costly. More than 40% of chief financial officers said supply chain shortages or delays impacted their companies’ spending by 5% or more in a Deloitte survey from 2021.

Three PayPal Ventures alumni have launched their own $158 million fund

Infinity Ventures, a new early-stage venture firm focused to investing in fintech firms around the world, has received $158 million from three PayPal Ventures alumni.

Jeremy Jonker, Jay Ganatra, and Mario Ruiz left PayPal Ventures in May 2021, with the first close taking place in June and the final close taking place in October 2021. They left PayPal to “zero in and focus entirely on infrastructure and commerce enablement,” rather than just investing in payments-focused startups.

Uber Eats is testing autonomous delivery with Motional and Serve Robotics

Uber Eats is partnering with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery business, and Motional, an autonomous car technology company, to launch two autonomous delivery experiments in Los Angeles on Monday.

The new programs are part of a slew of new goods that Uber will roll out across its ride-hailing and delivery platforms on Monday at the company’s Global Product Event.

The founder of Postmates has raised $23 million for his new cryptocurrency TipTop

Bastian Lehmann’s new crypto firm TipTop was gently teased a few weeks ago, but now the secret startup is providing some information on its early investment, albeit there’s not much information on what they’re doing with it.

According to Lehmann, the company has raised a $23 million Series A round from a16z, with Marc Andreessen joining the board of directors. Sam Altman, Naval Ravikant, Andy McLoughlin, Jeff Clavier, and Dan Romero are among the round’s other backers.

Token.io raises $40 million in Europe to develop open banking-based account-to-account payments

The rise of digital payments has changed the nature of how people do business with each other; and open banking — a movement in banking where incumbents are finally adopting newer technology such as APIs to open their systems to modern integrations — is leading to a wave of new payment methods, all of which are hoping to become as standard as cash or paying with cards. In the latest development on this theme, a U.K. startup called Token.io has closed $40 million in funding to expand its own particular push in payments tech — account to account payments and accessing accounts for transactions by way of a single API — deeper into the U.K. and across Europe.

Dock, a Brazilian fintech infrastructure business, has raised $110 million in capital, valuing it at over $1.5 billion

Dock, situated in So Paulo, offers a full-stack payments and digital banking “platform” across the region, where there is a huge demand for financial infrastructure that can help improve inclusion. The business has raised $110 million in a growth fundraising round led by Lightrock and Silver Lake Waterman from the United Kingdom, valuing it at more than $1.5 billion. The financing included existing backers Riverwood Capital, Viking Global Investors, and Sunley House Capital.

Tidio raises $25 million for customer service automation

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have found it particularly difficult to respond to all of their customer service inquiries during the pandemic. According to a Freshworks survey, overall contact volume increased by 71% between February 2020 and January 2021, and this trend is expected to continue. Customers, on the other hand, have gotten more demanding while remaining sympathetic. According to the same survey, 68 percent of customer service managers have noticed a rise in client expectations.

During the epidemic, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have found it especially challenging to answer to all of their customer service enquiries. Overall contact volume climbed by 71% between February 2020 and January 2021, according to a Freshworks survey, and this trend is projected to continue. On the other side, customers have become more demanding while remaining compassionate. According to the same survey, 68% of customer service managers have witnessed an increase in customer expectations.

SkySpecs, which provides aerial views of wind turbines, has received an investment of $80 million from Goldman Sachs

SkySpecs develops its own gear and software and claims to be able to track the health of nearly half of all turbine blades in North America (for reference, there are 71,666 turbines in the U.S. alone). Since its inception in 2012, the company claims that its drones have evaluated over 300,000 blades in dozens of nations. According to a statement from SkySpecs, the company’s bigger goal is to “help displace fossil fuel generation” by making renewables more efficient.

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