Startup News: Expense-Management provider Jeeves expanding its offerings

Jeeves refers to itself as a "financial operating system built for global companies.” That translates to processing payments and handling accounting for remote employees that are often spread throughout the world.

Last week, Jeeves added a few more features to that system.

The company announced that it has expanded its product offering to include prepaid cards and cross-border payments. Jeeves began marketing to a global corporate customer base 22 months ago with corporate credit cards. “As part of this new offering, Jeeves will allow customers to move funds in and out of Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico within 24 hours — a marked improvement on the legacy process, which could take up to 7 days,” the company announced in a press release. Jeeves said that its corporate customers can now pay vendors and suppliers across more than 150 countries in local currencies.

The company, whose last known valuation as of March 2022 was $2.1 billion, is backed by investors such as venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, the Chinese media and tech conglomerate. A Techcrunch article last week said that the company entered 2023 with an annualized run rate, a measure of a company’s expected upcoming yearly revenues, of $40 million. That’s an increase of 205% over the previous year, according to CEO and founder Dileep Thazhmon.

OpenAI’s ChatGPT is now available on Android devices

Last week, startup OpenAI unveiled the Android version of its widely-embraced ChatGPT chatbot. The news follows the company’s May debut of ChatGPT on Apple’s iOS devices.

According to an article on the CNBC website last week, the Android app is available in the U.S., India, Bangladesh, and Brazil, but there are plans to quickly expand availability to other countries. According to Statista, Android is the leading mobile operating system worldwide with a market share of 71%, as of the second quarter of 2023. Android's closest rival, Apple's iOS, had a market share of just over 28% during the same period.

Until May, people interested in trying out ChatGPT had to use OpenAI’s website. But now the chatbot’s abilities can be unleashed with the use of a smartphone. According to CNBC, OpenAI has received a total of $13 billion in investments from Microsoft since 2019. And in April, the company reportedly closed a $300 million share sale, giving it a valuation of $29 million.

Fervo achieves a clean-energy milestone

Fervo Energy, a company that taps the heat from within the Earth to create electrical power, has announced a key milestone that could lead to geothermal energy becoming a bigger source of clean energy in the future.

Last week, Fervo announced that it has successfully completed the well test at its full-scale commercial pilot, Project Red, in northern Nevada. The company said that the successful well test confirms the commercial viability of Fervo’s drilling technology and establishes Project Red as the “most productive enhanced geothermal system in history.” Tim Latimer, Fervo’s CEO and co-founder, said in the press release that “we have proven that we can produce 24/7 carbon-free energy resources in new geographies across the world.”

Founded in 2017, Fervo Energy focuses on developing geothermal technology with a goal to provide renewable and carbon-free energy in previously uneconomic locations. As of August 2022, the company’s valuation was $321.77 million.

According to the Department of Energy, using geothermal for electricity produces only about one-sixth of the carbon dioxide of a natural gas power plant.

About the Author

John Kimelman is a veteran journalist who has worked at Barron’s and CNBC covering such topics as investing and commercial banking. Mr. Kimelman has received compensation from Forge Global, Inc. for authoring this article. Read more from John.

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