World business news 21.04-26.04

Kyte, a car-rental startup, is expanding its fleet to 10,000 vehicles

Kyte, a firm that delivers rental automobiles to clients’ doorsteps, has secured $200 million in asset-backed credit financing from Goldman Sachs and Ares Global Management. The money will be used to purchase more vehicles to drive the company’s growth.

Kyte wants to build its fleet to roughly 10,000 vehicles in the next year, according to the startup, which is now in 13 U.S. locations and will launch in Portland, Oregon this week. While electric vehicles and vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) aren’t a large part of Kyte’s present fleet, the firm intends to make them a priority in the future for its clients.

Zepto, an Australian fintech, has raised $25 million in a Series A round to improve payment infrastructure

Zepto, an Australian real-time account-to-account (A2A) merchant payments network, announced Monday that AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners co-led a $25 million AUD Series A (about $18.8 million USD) round.

The immediate payment platform connects directly from the payer’s bank to the merchant’s bank, allowing merchants to make, manage, and receive safe payments.

Eksab receives $3 million to expand its fantasy football platform across the Middle East and Africa

Eksab, an Egyptian platform that claims to make football more thrilling and participatory for every fan in both regions through gaming and online community-building, has acquired $3 million in seed funding, according to today’s news from the Middle East and Africa.

Span, a smart energy panel firm, has received a $90 million funding injection

The humble breaker panel has been there for a century without much affection, and now Span has arrived. The company is making a strong case for better, smarter electrical panels, and it recently received a $90 million boost to help it continue to grow. The company is addressing electrification and micro-grid balancing issues, guaranteeing that future smart homes have a better understanding of how, what, and why power is consumed.

Span raised $10 million a few years ago, integrated with Alexa, and released a smarter EV charger to go with the smart panels earlier this year.

Papaya Global plans to purchase Azimo for $150 million to $200 million in order to expand its payroll payment services to other areas

On the heels of a huge spike in remote working, Papaya Global is making a key purchase to expand its cloud-based HR and payroll technology globally, six months after funding $250 million. Papaya Global is purchasing Azimo, a London-based money transfer company that Facebook originally wanted to buy to help with its own remittance operations. As a result of the agreement, Papaya Global will expand into new areas and offer new services like fast payroll payments.

The deal’s terms aren’t being made public, but a source close to the companies tells me it was worth between $150 million and $200 million, a figure that others appear to have reported as well. When the transaction closes, Papaya will take over the entire company, including all of Azimo’s employees.

Ampverse, a Singapore-based esports business, has received $12 million in funding

Ampverse, an esports startup based in Singapore, has raised $12 million in Series A funding headed by Falcon Capital. Based on statistics from PitchBook and other third-party sources, the firm claims that this is the largest Series A raised by an esports organization in Southeast Asia. The funds will be used to expand Ampverse’s play-to-earn business in Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as to acquire new esports teams and scale the company’s play-to-earn unit.

Weaver, a London-based business, has been awarded $4 million to develop a vetted marketplace for house improvements

Weaver, a London-based marketplace and SaaS contract negotiation platform that connects homeowners/architects planning big home renovation projects with certified contractors, has raised $4 million in a preliminary round to expand throughout the country.

Churpy raises $1 million to assist African businesses to settle and managing payments

Churpy, a Kenyan fintech firm, plans to expand across Africa by establishing hubs in Egypt, Nigeria, and South Africa, as part of a continent-wide expansion strategy fueled by a $1 million seed round.

Through its SaaS product, which automates the processes of reconciling incoming payments and invoices, the account receivables automation startup is out to change how businesses manage the debt owed to them by their customers, a labor-intensive process that is still largely manual for most local businesses.

Jeeves, a fintech firm, raises $180 million and quadruples its valuation to $2.1 billion in less than a year

Fast-growing fintech Jeeves has secured $180 million in a Series C round, valuing the business at $2.1 billion, less than seven months after completing on a $57 million Series B transaction.

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