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Charlie Warren 2018-08-19
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San Francisco is covered with billboards for Brex, a startup that provides corporate credit cards to startups.

Plenty of startups find opportunities to brag about spending so little money on marketing, but Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras says the ads were worth every penny.

Brex, which has raised a total of $57 million in funding from Peter Thiel and Y Combinator, spent only $300,000 on the ads plastered on bus stops, buildings, and billboards.

Jet-black billboards advertising Brex, a startup that offers the first corporate card for startups, loom over the streets and sidewalks.

In a Thursday night fireside chat with Business Insider and Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras, a member of the audience asked Dubugras to explain his thinking behind "taking over San Francisco" with billboards and reveal how much the campaign cost.

He estimated that 40% of his potential customers — emerging companies without access to traditional corporate cards — grow their businesses here.

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Dion Esparza 2018-10-07
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It took only a year and a half for fintech startup Brex to achieve unicorn status with a valuation of $1.1 billion

While Brex's Brazilian founders are young, they've already founded and sold a payment company before building Brex.

Brex co-founder Henrique Dubugras said that it's this previous experience that made his current endeavor so successful.

It took only 16 short months for San Francisco-based fintech startup Brex to grow from a two-person team at celebrated incubator Y Combinator to a 50-person company valued at just over a billion dollars.

From the outside, the company's success might appear instantaneous; but for Brex's 22-year-old co-founders Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, the journey to building their company wasn't so easy.

"We've both worked eight hours a day since we were 14."

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gazettere view 2019-11-13
James Maloch 2020-08-12
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credit card brex 2x1

  • Brex, a fintech unicorn, is one of the most interesting companies in Silicon Valley.
  • We identified the 13 employees that Brex assembled to help the financial-services startup take on traditional financial institutions in 2020.
  • The power players include employees who helped launch its bank-account product, Brex Cash, and people working with existing customers and recruiting new ones for the flagship corporate-credit-card product.
  • Click here to read more BI Prime stories.

Brex, simply put, is a startup for startups.

A venture-backed company can have millions in the bank and not get approved for a credit card. That's because the traditional financial institutions want to see a credit history, which few new companies have, before issuing that precious piece of plastic. Brex solved for the problem by giving corporate credit cards to startups based on their available cash balance — including money raised through venture funding — and using data to predict a startup's future ability to pay.

In the past year, Brex grew beyond its roots as a "black card for startups" to include a bank-account product that gives customers the ability to send payments, new credit cards with rewards tailored for e-commerce and healthcare businesses, a members-only lounge, and a restaurant.

Each new product brings Brex closer to the financial-services leaders it wants to unseat. Henrique Dubugras, the company's 24-year-old cofounder and chief executive, told Business Insider that in the long run, the goal is not to become a bank — but to create a collection of products for saving and spending money, in the same way that Apple owns computing through its product suite.

With a private-market valuation of $2.6 billion, Brex has plans to double its staff to 800 employees this year, adding to a powerhouse team of financial-services veterans and tech-giant alumni.

This list of top employees is focused on staff who are helping the company take on legacy finance institutions, as opposed to the technical talent at the startup. They include the people tasked with raising funding, rolling out new products, keeping customers happy, and signing on rewards partners, as well as the people responsible for plastering San Francisco with Brex advertisements.  

Meet the 13 power players of Brex:

SEE ALSO: Brex, the $2.6 billion credit card company for startups, explains why it's getting closer to traditional finance with its new Brex Cash bank account product

DON'T MISS: Brex raised $57 million from Peter Thiel and Y Combinator using these 19 slides

Michael Tannenbaum, chief financial officer

Michael Tannenbaum was the architect of Brex's flagship product, which allows startups to get approved for corporate credit cards based on their available cash balance — including venture capital — rather than credit history. The company uses data to forecast cash balances and determine the startup's future ability to pay, the idea being that it could cut off customers before they go into credit-card debt.

A former investment-banking analyst, Tannenbaum started working at Brex when the company was just an idea staged in the cofounder's kitchen. He was hired to develop its credit-card model and to build credibility with financial partners, including banks and lenders.

As chief financial officer, he oversees finance, operations, capital markets, corporate development, and credit.



Larissa Rocha, chief community officer

As employee No. 1 at Brex, Rocha has held a variety of roles, but she has always maintained the "doer" mindset that Brex cofounders Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi gave her in her first position.

Rocha joined the startup two weeks after her graduation from Harvard University. Over the years, she built a customer-support team, helped land the company's first customers, and oversaw its foray into restaurants and community spaces. She even ran strategy for recruiting engineers.

"When Henrique explained the new role for me, that was my first time hearing a lot of those developer terms," Rocha said.

Now Rocha is chief community officer and creates programming for Brex's customers. She said that since Brex is itself a startup, she's been able to help other Brex members navigate similarly difficult and less-than-well-defined issues she has successfully overcome.

 



Katie Biber, Chief Legal Officer

Katie Biber joined Brex in July to lead its legal and compliance teams as the startup was launching an FDIC-insured bank account product for its customers.  The former legal executive oversaw compliance initiatives at major tech startups like AirbnbThumbtack, and crypto startup Anchorage following years of work as a political lawyer.

"I committed to giving the tech industry a 2-year effort and it stuck," Biber told Business Insider in July.

Like Dubugras, Biber sees opportunity for Brex and other startups in highly regulated industries like finance, to build trust with customers by working within those traditional bounds instead of breaking them down.

"The market opportunity for Brex is really immense because it has defined a category and now others are rushing to fill it," Biber said. "It reminds me of a campaign that just hits it spot on. You can have the slickest ads, but if your candidate doesn't strike a chord with voters you are staring down empty stadiums. I see that all coming together at Brex."



Marco Mahrus, vice president of payments

Marco Mahrus was working to develop underwriting improvements at Uber when a friend introduced him to the Brex team. The Harvard MBA grad had spent years working in finance at big tech companies and smaller startups and wasn't ready yet to make the switch. By 2019 that changed, and Mahrus was ready to jump on Brex's rocketship.

As head of payments, Mahrus is responsible for building the underlying infrastructure that keeps Brex running. He has spearheaded efforts to integrate Apple Pay and Google Pay in addition to managing all profits and losses on the corporate-cards side of the business. 

"Brex is known for corporate-card payments and now a cash-management account, but under the hood is a core banking platform developed from the ground up to address startup and SMB financial services," Mahrus said.



Thomas Piani, product director for Brex Cash

Choosing a credit card often comes down to which has the most useful rewards. Thomas Piani was hired in 2018 to design the company's rewards program to go head-to-head with those of competitors like American Express or Chase Bank. 

He landed the startup's first airline partnership, which let Brex customers spend their rewards on miles, and led the initiative around its first cobranded credit card with Bank of the West.

Today, Piani oversees the company's second product, a no-fee credit card for e-commerce companies. His team rolled out a suite of rewards tailored to those businesses, such as discounts on shipping and advertising through partnerships.



Roni Saporta, director of capital markets

Because Brex's core business is extending credit to customers, it relies on raising debt from big institutions on Wall Street, regional banks, and asset managers to finance those credit-card transactions.

Roni Saporta helped the company close two massive fundraising events last year: a $100 million round of debt financing from Barclays in June and a second round from Credit Suisse that totaled $200 million. As a director of capital markets, she's tasked with building relationships with investors and negotiating deal terms.

Before Brex, Saporta was an associate at Credit Suisse in New York.



Mira Srinivasan, head of credit

Taking on entrenched financial-services companies like American Express is a daunting undertaking, to say the least. But Brex has a secret weapon: Mira Srinivasan, a former vice president of American Express.

Srinivasan joined Brex in 2019 to build the kind of credit policies and procedures that the startup is banking on to unseat her former employer. She takes a veteran's approach to risk monitoring and assessment by instituting old procedures, like collections, with a startup slant. By using data that other institutions don't have, Srinivasan's team is able to more accurately predict and manage risk to the benefit of Brex and its customers, she said.

"Most traditional finance institutions do not have this flexibility, as they are bound by legacy infrastructure," Srinivasan said.

Before Brex, she led risk management at American Express for 12 years. She was previously a research analyst at McKinsey in its corporate-finance division.



Miguel Rios-Berrios, director of engineering and head of data

Miguel Rios-Berrios got his engineering degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez before heading to the University of Maryland for his Masters. He never finished the program, and instead landed an internship at Twitter in 2010. There, he learned the ropes of the tech industry and quickly rose the ranks of the engineering organization, eventually becoming the head of data science.

A company spokeswoman said Brex set out on a year-long search for its new head of engineering late last year. The startup was rapidly growing the team as it continued to add new products and services at a break-neck pace, and needed someone to lead the team. Rios-Berrios had the experience Brex was looking for, and he joined the startup in October.

In his role, Rios-Berrios leads the teams responsible for data products, data platforms, risk, and analytics. He is also an active member of Brex's diversity council, according to a company spokeswoman.

 



Erica Dorfman, vice president of treasury and capital markets

Erica Dorfman joined Brex in August 2019 to lead liquidity, cash management, and debt financing for the startup's suite of credit products. With her team, Dorfman has raised $500 million in debt financing for Brex, and most recently helped launch its newest service, an FDIC-insured Brex Cash account for startups.

Dorfman entered the fintech world after several years working in a traditional finance role on Wall Street. She oversaw capital markets initiatives at student loan startup SoFi before leading finance and operations at finance automation startup Tally. 

 



Ritik Malhotra, product director for special projects

Ritik Malhotra joined Brex as part of the acquisition of his company, Elph, which let users manage their cryptocurrency holdings across apps in one place.

His team got to work immediately on Brex Cash, the startup's answer to bank accounts. The product will give customers the ability to store money, earn yields, and send payments in less than a minute, according to the company. It is still being tested and has a waitlist of startups.

Malhotra said he spends a lot of time trying to suss out where traditional finance institutions fall short to help Brex Cash solve for customer frustrations.



Camilla Morais, vice president of operations and financial planning

Camilla Morais, the vice president of finance, runs internal finance for the fast-growing startup. She's responsible for the teams that raise money from capital markets and ensure the unit economics that make investors happy to see. She also manages head count and office planning as the company seeks to double its workforce.

When she joined in 2018, Morais worked on designing the financial models that Brex used for its flagship corporate credit card. Since then, she has also had a hand in overseeing Brex Cash, the startup's bank-account product, and offerings for e-commerce and healthcare startups.

"Speaking with investors is part of my day-by-day at Brex, whether or not we are fundraising," Morais told Business Insider. "It's always important to build a relationship with our current and future investors before the needs come. But there is much more than that."

Before Brex, Morais was a director of marketing and business planning for Kraft Heinz in Chicago.



Kira Klaas, director of brand

On marketing, Brex has to compete with traditional financial institutions — many of which have branch locations and airport lounges — on a fraction of their budgets.

Kira Klaas, who works on the startup's mission and brand messaging, convinces startups to put their trust in the lesser-known entity. Her job is to develop customers who believe so strongly in Brex's story and how it creates value that they try to convince others to sign up. 

Last year, her pièce de résistance was Brex's advertising takeover at TechCrunch Disrupt, a San Francisco conference attended by thousands of tech workers. Dubugras announced its new product Brex Cash onstage, and within minutes, 257 billboards, bus stops, and news-rack advertisements across the city were swapped out to promote the launch.

She said the company passed its goal for sign-ups by 273% at launch, and the waitlist has been growing steadily since.



Arthur Levy, vice president of business development

In early 2019, Arthur Levy was the company's first business-development hire, and since then, he has built a team and strategy around creating partnerships that add value for Brex's customers.

Brex's chief financial officer called Levy the "mastermind" behind the company's new partnership with JetBlue, which allows startups to cash in points for miles. He spent many hours flying to New York to convince the airline to give select customers preferred status and later to allow all customers to transfer rewards.

Levy also oversees high-profile deals and partnerships with Intuit, NetSuite, Amazon Web Services, WeWork, and Zoom. His team drives almost 40% of new revenue every month, the startup said.



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Edward Hickey 2021-04-26
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Mere weeks after rival corporate spend startup Ramp announced that it raised a two-part round worth $115 million at a $1.6 billion valuation, this morning Brex disclosed a $425 million Series D led by Tiger Global. The new capital marks Brex’s largest fundraise to date, and was compiled at a valuation that is more than […]
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Dana Millard 2019-09-09

We’re excited to announce an addition to the Extra Crunch community perks.

Starting today, annual Extra Crunch members can get 100,000 Brex Rewards points after signing up for a Brex corporate credit card.

Brex’s corporate credit card is designed for startups, and Extra Crunch was built for the startup ecosystem.

We understand that startups are trying to be as frugal as possible with spending, and we felt that the Brex corporate credit card was the perfect way to stretch those valuable dollars.

Brex gives startup founders and finance teams higher credit limits than what they would get with any other business credit card option, and it does so without requiring a personal credit check or security deposit during the application.

There are some impressive reward multipliers across categories like rideshare, travel, and restaurants.

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Jennifer True 2019-06-11
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It has been a whirlwind 12 months for fledgling fintech startup Brex, which launched last June with $57 million in funding from some big-name investors, including PayPal’s founders and Y Combinator.

Brex, which has created a corporate credit card for startups and scale-ups, raised another $125 million series C round in October, at a valuation of $1.1 billion, and made its first acquisition (a blockchain startup, no less).

It also raised an additional $100 million debt round a couple of months back.

Today, Brex has announced another $100 million in funding in a series C extension round led by Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund, with participation from existing investors, including Y Combinator Continuity, GreenOaks Capital, IVP, Ribbit Capital, and DST Global.

This takes Brex’s total equity funding to $315 million, with a valuation of $2.6 billion — a considerable growth trajectory for a company founded in 2017 that has been widely available for less than a year.

By way of a quick recap, Brex launched as a corporate credit card for startups, which typically find it more difficult to gain access to lines of credit from traditional lenders.

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Evelyn Fowler 2021-04-26
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Brex, a fintech company that provides corporate cards and spend-management software to businesses, announced earlier today that it closed a $425 million Series D round of capital at a valuation of around $7.4 billion. The new capital came less than a year after Brex raised $150 million at a $2.9 billion pre-money valuation. So, how […]
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FinTech Buzz 2020-05-21
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Brex, the financial technology company reimagining financial systems for growing companies, today announced that an investment group including Lone Pine Capital as well as a group of existing investors led by DST has invested an additional $150 million in the company.

The investment represents a slight premium to Brex’s post money valuation.This fresh capital strengthens the Brex balance sheet and bolsters Brex’s standing as the leading financial services provider to technology, ecommerce, life sciences and other businesses.

The equity proceeds also enhance Brex’s position across all of its lenders and financial partners.Fintech News“We’re glad to have additional capital at a time when customers need us to be focused 100% on providing services and solutions to help them navigate these challenging economic times,” said Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Brex.Brex is specifically using the proceeds to further invest across engineering and product and design functions in order to improve expense management, procurement and software tooling for its customers.

The company will use a combination of organic efforts as well as small acquisitions to supplement its hiring and product development efforts.“We are excited to have a front row seat as Brex continues to revolutionize financial services,” said David Craver, Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Lone Pine Capital.

“With one of the strongest executive teams in fintech, we look forward to seeing Brex continue to provide support and innovative solutions to its customers through this dynamic and unprecedented business environment.”Brex has spent the last few months adapting its business for the current economic conditions and public health environment.

Brex introduced a new rewards program to better serve customers that have moved to remote work, added contactless payment support for Apple Pay and Google Pay and helped its customers obtain millions of dollars in CARES Act Payment Protection Program loans.

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Robert Sanchez 2020-08-05
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Brex

  • On May 29, Brex, a three-year-old fintech that had skyrocketed to a $3 billion valuation, laid off 62 members, or roughly 17%, of its staff.  It had announced a $150 million fundraise less than two weeks prior.
  • Among those cut was Paul-Henri Ferrand, Brex's recently hired COO, along with senior employees on the customer experience, compliance, and marketing teams. 
  • Insiders revealed a fast-growing company that was already grappling with employee turnover and aggressive financial targets in early 2020.
  • Click here to read the full investigation.

This story was originally published on June 10. 

Early on the morning of May 29th, an email landed in the inbox of members of Brex's customer-experience team.

The note, sent from a manager's address, explained how difficult the recent meeting had been and how, unfortunately, some members of the team would be let go. Those who were safe would receive a separate email, while those who would be let go would get a meeting invite, according to a recipient of the note who verbally described it to Business Insider. 

The problem? No meeting had taken place yet. 

The email was sent around 6:30 a.m. PST, according to one of the recipients of the note. The day was just getting underway for the team, which was spread across Brex's offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake Valley, Utah, and Vancouver.

It didn't take long to understand layoffs were coming. The coronavirus had crippled much of the economy, and Brex, a startup offering corporate charge cards for early-stage companies, was no exception, despite raising $150 million a few weeks earlier at a $3 billion valuation. 

A few hours later, an all-hands meeting appeared on all Brex employees' calendars. By 11 a.m. PST co-founder Pedro Franceschi addressed his 400-plus employees. Brex was laying off 62 people.

Business Insider talked to eight current and former employees to learn more about the run-up to the layoffs and how the cuts went down.

In July, Brex added FDIC insurance to its bank account-like Brex Cash service. The fintech also announced Katie Biber, who spent time at Airbnb and Thumbtack, had joined as its chief legal officer.

To read the full story, which is exclusive to BI Prime subscribers, click here.

SEE ALSO: Read the full memo Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky just sent to staff announcing 1,900 job cuts. It lays out severance details and which teams are getting hit the hardest.

SEE ALSO: Silver Lake has been plowing money into bets like Airbnb, Twitter, and Waymo. Here's a look inside why it's being called the Warren Buffett of tech.

SEE ALSO: 4 top VCs explain why Stripe, Square, and Finix are going to be big winners in a post-COVID-19 world

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths

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Danny Duck 2019-07-30
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TechCrunch is beginning to publish podcasts from industry experts, with transcriptions available for Extra Crunch members so you can read the conversation wherever you are.

The Operators features insiders from companies like AirBnB, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, and WeWork sharing their stories and tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management.

Also joining the show is Elinitsa Staykova, VP of Marketing at Brex, another fast-growing unicorn, recently valued at over $2 billion, that is the leading provider of credit cards to startups and tech companies.

In this episode, Christiana and Elinitsa explain how marketing works, how to get into and succeed in the field of marketing, and how founders should think about hiring and managing the marketing function.

With their experiences at two of tech’s biggest and most innovative marketers, WeWork and Brex, this episode is packed with broad perspectives and deep insights.

Tim is the CEO & Founder of Media Mobilize, a media company and ad network, and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage.

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Blaine Pilgrim 2018-10-17

Earlier this month, Brex, a credit card provider to startups, announced it had raised $125 million at a $1.1 billion valuation.

Today, YC has released the latest list of its most successful companies since it began backing startups in 2005.

Ranked by valuation and/or market cap, Brex, sure enough, is the youngest company to crack the top 20:

Airbnb: An online travel community and room-sharing platform founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

Stripe: A provider of an online payment processing system for internet businesses founded by John and Patrick Collison.

Cruise: Acquired by GM in 2006, the company is building autonomous vehicles.

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Ed Furnace 2019-06-26
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Technology is shattering legacy financial systems that can't keep pace with market demand — and Brex is at the forefront.

It's one of fintechs buzziest startups, aiming to rebuild B2B financial products starting with corporate cards for technology companies.

The company was quietly launched in 2017 by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, two 22-year-old engineers who previously founded Pagar.me, one of Brazil's largest payment processors.

Brex already has more than 1,000 customers signed up with the help of backing from investors including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, early Facebook investor Yuri Milner, former Visa CEO Carl Pascarella, and esteemed startup incubator Y Combinator.

And we caught a glimpse of the Series B pitch deck Dubugras and Franceschi used to win them over.

In it, they lay out a clear problem: Technology startups often had trouble securing corporate credit cards — even if they had millions in the bank — because legacy banks and card issuers wanted to see company credit histories, which young institutions simply couldn't produce.

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Damion Gutierrez 2019-01-13
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When I hear protesters shout, “Immigrants are welcome here!” at the San Francisco immigration office near my startup’s headquarters, I think about how simple a phrase that is for a topic that is so nuanced, especially for me as an immigrant entrepreneur.

Growing up in Brazil, I am less familiar with the nuances of the American debate on immigration legislation, but I know that immigrants here add a lot of jobs and stimulate the local economy.

My tech startup Brex has achieved a lot in a short period of time, a feat which is underscored by receiving a $1 billion dollar valuation in just one year.

But we didn’t achieve that high level of growth in spite of being founded by immigrants, but because of it.

The key to our growth and to working towards building a global brand is our international talent pool, without it, we could never have gotten to where we are today.

So beyond Brex, what do the most successful Silicon Valley startups have in common?

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Joseph Averitt 2021-04-26
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Weav, which is building a universal API for commerce platforms, is emerging from stealth today with $4.3 million in funding from a bevy of investors, and a partnership with Brex. Founded last year by engineers Ambika Acharya, Avikam Agur and Nadav Lidor after participating in the W20 YC batch, Weav joins the wave of fintech […]
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Michael Smith 2019-09-23
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Technology is shattering legacy financial systems that can’t keep pace with market demand — and Brex is at the forefront.

It’s one of fintechs buzziest startups, aiming to rebuild B2B financial products starting with corporate cards for technology companies.

The company was quietly launched in 2017 by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, two 22-year-old engineers who previously founded Pagar.me, one of Brazil’s largest payment processors.

Brex already has more than 1,000 customers signed up with the help of backing from investors including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, early Facebook investor Yuri Milner, former Visa CEO Carl Pascarella, and esteemed startup incubator Y Combinator.

And we caught a glimpse of the Series B pitch deck Dubugras and Franceschi used to win them over.

In it, they lay out a clear problem: Technology startups often had trouble securing corporate credit cards — even if they had millions in the bank — because legacy banks and card issuers wanted to see company credit histories, which young institutions simply couldn’t produce.

collect
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Charlie Warren 2018-08-19
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San Francisco is covered with billboards for Brex, a startup that provides corporate credit cards to startups.

Plenty of startups find opportunities to brag about spending so little money on marketing, but Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras says the ads were worth every penny.

Brex, which has raised a total of $57 million in funding from Peter Thiel and Y Combinator, spent only $300,000 on the ads plastered on bus stops, buildings, and billboards.

Jet-black billboards advertising Brex, a startup that offers the first corporate card for startups, loom over the streets and sidewalks.

In a Thursday night fireside chat with Business Insider and Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras, a member of the audience asked Dubugras to explain his thinking behind "taking over San Francisco" with billboards and reveal how much the campaign cost.

He estimated that 40% of his potential customers — emerging companies without access to traditional corporate cards — grow their businesses here.

gazettere view 2019-11-13
Edward Hickey 2021-04-26
img
Mere weeks after rival corporate spend startup Ramp announced that it raised a two-part round worth $115 million at a $1.6 billion valuation, this morning Brex disclosed a $425 million Series D led by Tiger Global. The new capital marks Brex’s largest fundraise to date, and was compiled at a valuation that is more than […]
Jennifer True 2019-06-11
img

It has been a whirlwind 12 months for fledgling fintech startup Brex, which launched last June with $57 million in funding from some big-name investors, including PayPal’s founders and Y Combinator.

Brex, which has created a corporate credit card for startups and scale-ups, raised another $125 million series C round in October, at a valuation of $1.1 billion, and made its first acquisition (a blockchain startup, no less).

It also raised an additional $100 million debt round a couple of months back.

Today, Brex has announced another $100 million in funding in a series C extension round led by Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund, with participation from existing investors, including Y Combinator Continuity, GreenOaks Capital, IVP, Ribbit Capital, and DST Global.

This takes Brex’s total equity funding to $315 million, with a valuation of $2.6 billion — a considerable growth trajectory for a company founded in 2017 that has been widely available for less than a year.

By way of a quick recap, Brex launched as a corporate credit card for startups, which typically find it more difficult to gain access to lines of credit from traditional lenders.

FinTech Buzz 2020-05-21
img

Brex, the financial technology company reimagining financial systems for growing companies, today announced that an investment group including Lone Pine Capital as well as a group of existing investors led by DST has invested an additional $150 million in the company.

The investment represents a slight premium to Brex’s post money valuation.This fresh capital strengthens the Brex balance sheet and bolsters Brex’s standing as the leading financial services provider to technology, ecommerce, life sciences and other businesses.

The equity proceeds also enhance Brex’s position across all of its lenders and financial partners.Fintech News“We’re glad to have additional capital at a time when customers need us to be focused 100% on providing services and solutions to help them navigate these challenging economic times,” said Henrique Dubugras, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Brex.Brex is specifically using the proceeds to further invest across engineering and product and design functions in order to improve expense management, procurement and software tooling for its customers.

The company will use a combination of organic efforts as well as small acquisitions to supplement its hiring and product development efforts.“We are excited to have a front row seat as Brex continues to revolutionize financial services,” said David Craver, Portfolio Manager and Managing Director of Lone Pine Capital.

“With one of the strongest executive teams in fintech, we look forward to seeing Brex continue to provide support and innovative solutions to its customers through this dynamic and unprecedented business environment.”Brex has spent the last few months adapting its business for the current economic conditions and public health environment.

Brex introduced a new rewards program to better serve customers that have moved to remote work, added contactless payment support for Apple Pay and Google Pay and helped its customers obtain millions of dollars in CARES Act Payment Protection Program loans.

Danny Duck 2019-07-30
img

TechCrunch is beginning to publish podcasts from industry experts, with transcriptions available for Extra Crunch members so you can read the conversation wherever you are.

The Operators features insiders from companies like AirBnB, Brex, Docsend, Facebook, Google, Lyft, Carta, Slack, Uber, and WeWork sharing their stories and tips on how to break into fields like marketing and product management.

Also joining the show is Elinitsa Staykova, VP of Marketing at Brex, another fast-growing unicorn, recently valued at over $2 billion, that is the leading provider of credit cards to startups and tech companies.

In this episode, Christiana and Elinitsa explain how marketing works, how to get into and succeed in the field of marketing, and how founders should think about hiring and managing the marketing function.

With their experiences at two of tech’s biggest and most innovative marketers, WeWork and Brex, this episode is packed with broad perspectives and deep insights.

Tim is the CEO & Founder of Media Mobilize, a media company and ad network, and a Venture Partner at Digital Garage.

Ed Furnace 2019-06-26
img

Technology is shattering legacy financial systems that can't keep pace with market demand — and Brex is at the forefront.

It's one of fintechs buzziest startups, aiming to rebuild B2B financial products starting with corporate cards for technology companies.

The company was quietly launched in 2017 by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, two 22-year-old engineers who previously founded Pagar.me, one of Brazil's largest payment processors.

Brex already has more than 1,000 customers signed up with the help of backing from investors including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, early Facebook investor Yuri Milner, former Visa CEO Carl Pascarella, and esteemed startup incubator Y Combinator.

And we caught a glimpse of the Series B pitch deck Dubugras and Franceschi used to win them over.

In it, they lay out a clear problem: Technology startups often had trouble securing corporate credit cards — even if they had millions in the bank — because legacy banks and card issuers wanted to see company credit histories, which young institutions simply couldn't produce.

Joseph Averitt 2021-04-26
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Weav, which is building a universal API for commerce platforms, is emerging from stealth today with $4.3 million in funding from a bevy of investors, and a partnership with Brex. Founded last year by engineers Ambika Acharya, Avikam Agur and Nadav Lidor after participating in the W20 YC batch, Weav joins the wave of fintech […]
Dion Esparza 2018-10-07
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It took only a year and a half for fintech startup Brex to achieve unicorn status with a valuation of $1.1 billion

While Brex's Brazilian founders are young, they've already founded and sold a payment company before building Brex.

Brex co-founder Henrique Dubugras said that it's this previous experience that made his current endeavor so successful.

It took only 16 short months for San Francisco-based fintech startup Brex to grow from a two-person team at celebrated incubator Y Combinator to a 50-person company valued at just over a billion dollars.

From the outside, the company's success might appear instantaneous; but for Brex's 22-year-old co-founders Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, the journey to building their company wasn't so easy.

"We've both worked eight hours a day since we were 14."

James Maloch 2020-08-12
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credit card brex 2x1

  • Brex, a fintech unicorn, is one of the most interesting companies in Silicon Valley.
  • We identified the 13 employees that Brex assembled to help the financial-services startup take on traditional financial institutions in 2020.
  • The power players include employees who helped launch its bank-account product, Brex Cash, and people working with existing customers and recruiting new ones for the flagship corporate-credit-card product.
  • Click here to read more BI Prime stories.

Brex, simply put, is a startup for startups.

A venture-backed company can have millions in the bank and not get approved for a credit card. That's because the traditional financial institutions want to see a credit history, which few new companies have, before issuing that precious piece of plastic. Brex solved for the problem by giving corporate credit cards to startups based on their available cash balance — including money raised through venture funding — and using data to predict a startup's future ability to pay.

In the past year, Brex grew beyond its roots as a "black card for startups" to include a bank-account product that gives customers the ability to send payments, new credit cards with rewards tailored for e-commerce and healthcare businesses, a members-only lounge, and a restaurant.

Each new product brings Brex closer to the financial-services leaders it wants to unseat. Henrique Dubugras, the company's 24-year-old cofounder and chief executive, told Business Insider that in the long run, the goal is not to become a bank — but to create a collection of products for saving and spending money, in the same way that Apple owns computing through its product suite.

With a private-market valuation of $2.6 billion, Brex has plans to double its staff to 800 employees this year, adding to a powerhouse team of financial-services veterans and tech-giant alumni.

This list of top employees is focused on staff who are helping the company take on legacy finance institutions, as opposed to the technical talent at the startup. They include the people tasked with raising funding, rolling out new products, keeping customers happy, and signing on rewards partners, as well as the people responsible for plastering San Francisco with Brex advertisements.  

Meet the 13 power players of Brex:

SEE ALSO: Brex, the $2.6 billion credit card company for startups, explains why it's getting closer to traditional finance with its new Brex Cash bank account product

DON'T MISS: Brex raised $57 million from Peter Thiel and Y Combinator using these 19 slides

Michael Tannenbaum, chief financial officer

Michael Tannenbaum was the architect of Brex's flagship product, which allows startups to get approved for corporate credit cards based on their available cash balance — including venture capital — rather than credit history. The company uses data to forecast cash balances and determine the startup's future ability to pay, the idea being that it could cut off customers before they go into credit-card debt.

A former investment-banking analyst, Tannenbaum started working at Brex when the company was just an idea staged in the cofounder's kitchen. He was hired to develop its credit-card model and to build credibility with financial partners, including banks and lenders.

As chief financial officer, he oversees finance, operations, capital markets, corporate development, and credit.



Larissa Rocha, chief community officer

As employee No. 1 at Brex, Rocha has held a variety of roles, but she has always maintained the "doer" mindset that Brex cofounders Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi gave her in her first position.

Rocha joined the startup two weeks after her graduation from Harvard University. Over the years, she built a customer-support team, helped land the company's first customers, and oversaw its foray into restaurants and community spaces. She even ran strategy for recruiting engineers.

"When Henrique explained the new role for me, that was my first time hearing a lot of those developer terms," Rocha said.

Now Rocha is chief community officer and creates programming for Brex's customers. She said that since Brex is itself a startup, she's been able to help other Brex members navigate similarly difficult and less-than-well-defined issues she has successfully overcome.

 



Katie Biber, Chief Legal Officer

Katie Biber joined Brex in July to lead its legal and compliance teams as the startup was launching an FDIC-insured bank account product for its customers.  The former legal executive oversaw compliance initiatives at major tech startups like AirbnbThumbtack, and crypto startup Anchorage following years of work as a political lawyer.

"I committed to giving the tech industry a 2-year effort and it stuck," Biber told Business Insider in July.

Like Dubugras, Biber sees opportunity for Brex and other startups in highly regulated industries like finance, to build trust with customers by working within those traditional bounds instead of breaking them down.

"The market opportunity for Brex is really immense because it has defined a category and now others are rushing to fill it," Biber said. "It reminds me of a campaign that just hits it spot on. You can have the slickest ads, but if your candidate doesn't strike a chord with voters you are staring down empty stadiums. I see that all coming together at Brex."



Marco Mahrus, vice president of payments

Marco Mahrus was working to develop underwriting improvements at Uber when a friend introduced him to the Brex team. The Harvard MBA grad had spent years working in finance at big tech companies and smaller startups and wasn't ready yet to make the switch. By 2019 that changed, and Mahrus was ready to jump on Brex's rocketship.

As head of payments, Mahrus is responsible for building the underlying infrastructure that keeps Brex running. He has spearheaded efforts to integrate Apple Pay and Google Pay in addition to managing all profits and losses on the corporate-cards side of the business. 

"Brex is known for corporate-card payments and now a cash-management account, but under the hood is a core banking platform developed from the ground up to address startup and SMB financial services," Mahrus said.



Thomas Piani, product director for Brex Cash

Choosing a credit card often comes down to which has the most useful rewards. Thomas Piani was hired in 2018 to design the company's rewards program to go head-to-head with those of competitors like American Express or Chase Bank. 

He landed the startup's first airline partnership, which let Brex customers spend their rewards on miles, and led the initiative around its first cobranded credit card with Bank of the West.

Today, Piani oversees the company's second product, a no-fee credit card for e-commerce companies. His team rolled out a suite of rewards tailored to those businesses, such as discounts on shipping and advertising through partnerships.



Roni Saporta, director of capital markets

Because Brex's core business is extending credit to customers, it relies on raising debt from big institutions on Wall Street, regional banks, and asset managers to finance those credit-card transactions.

Roni Saporta helped the company close two massive fundraising events last year: a $100 million round of debt financing from Barclays in June and a second round from Credit Suisse that totaled $200 million. As a director of capital markets, she's tasked with building relationships with investors and negotiating deal terms.

Before Brex, Saporta was an associate at Credit Suisse in New York.



Mira Srinivasan, head of credit

Taking on entrenched financial-services companies like American Express is a daunting undertaking, to say the least. But Brex has a secret weapon: Mira Srinivasan, a former vice president of American Express.

Srinivasan joined Brex in 2019 to build the kind of credit policies and procedures that the startup is banking on to unseat her former employer. She takes a veteran's approach to risk monitoring and assessment by instituting old procedures, like collections, with a startup slant. By using data that other institutions don't have, Srinivasan's team is able to more accurately predict and manage risk to the benefit of Brex and its customers, she said.

"Most traditional finance institutions do not have this flexibility, as they are bound by legacy infrastructure," Srinivasan said.

Before Brex, she led risk management at American Express for 12 years. She was previously a research analyst at McKinsey in its corporate-finance division.



Miguel Rios-Berrios, director of engineering and head of data

Miguel Rios-Berrios got his engineering degree from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez before heading to the University of Maryland for his Masters. He never finished the program, and instead landed an internship at Twitter in 2010. There, he learned the ropes of the tech industry and quickly rose the ranks of the engineering organization, eventually becoming the head of data science.

A company spokeswoman said Brex set out on a year-long search for its new head of engineering late last year. The startup was rapidly growing the team as it continued to add new products and services at a break-neck pace, and needed someone to lead the team. Rios-Berrios had the experience Brex was looking for, and he joined the startup in October.

In his role, Rios-Berrios leads the teams responsible for data products, data platforms, risk, and analytics. He is also an active member of Brex's diversity council, according to a company spokeswoman.

 



Erica Dorfman, vice president of treasury and capital markets

Erica Dorfman joined Brex in August 2019 to lead liquidity, cash management, and debt financing for the startup's suite of credit products. With her team, Dorfman has raised $500 million in debt financing for Brex, and most recently helped launch its newest service, an FDIC-insured Brex Cash account for startups.

Dorfman entered the fintech world after several years working in a traditional finance role on Wall Street. She oversaw capital markets initiatives at student loan startup SoFi before leading finance and operations at finance automation startup Tally. 

 



Ritik Malhotra, product director for special projects

Ritik Malhotra joined Brex as part of the acquisition of his company, Elph, which let users manage their cryptocurrency holdings across apps in one place.

His team got to work immediately on Brex Cash, the startup's answer to bank accounts. The product will give customers the ability to store money, earn yields, and send payments in less than a minute, according to the company. It is still being tested and has a waitlist of startups.

Malhotra said he spends a lot of time trying to suss out where traditional finance institutions fall short to help Brex Cash solve for customer frustrations.



Camilla Morais, vice president of operations and financial planning

Camilla Morais, the vice president of finance, runs internal finance for the fast-growing startup. She's responsible for the teams that raise money from capital markets and ensure the unit economics that make investors happy to see. She also manages head count and office planning as the company seeks to double its workforce.

When she joined in 2018, Morais worked on designing the financial models that Brex used for its flagship corporate credit card. Since then, she has also had a hand in overseeing Brex Cash, the startup's bank-account product, and offerings for e-commerce and healthcare startups.

"Speaking with investors is part of my day-by-day at Brex, whether or not we are fundraising," Morais told Business Insider. "It's always important to build a relationship with our current and future investors before the needs come. But there is much more than that."

Before Brex, Morais was a director of marketing and business planning for Kraft Heinz in Chicago.



Kira Klaas, director of brand

On marketing, Brex has to compete with traditional financial institutions — many of which have branch locations and airport lounges — on a fraction of their budgets.

Kira Klaas, who works on the startup's mission and brand messaging, convinces startups to put their trust in the lesser-known entity. Her job is to develop customers who believe so strongly in Brex's story and how it creates value that they try to convince others to sign up. 

Last year, her pièce de résistance was Brex's advertising takeover at TechCrunch Disrupt, a San Francisco conference attended by thousands of tech workers. Dubugras announced its new product Brex Cash onstage, and within minutes, 257 billboards, bus stops, and news-rack advertisements across the city were swapped out to promote the launch.

She said the company passed its goal for sign-ups by 273% at launch, and the waitlist has been growing steadily since.



Arthur Levy, vice president of business development

In early 2019, Arthur Levy was the company's first business-development hire, and since then, he has built a team and strategy around creating partnerships that add value for Brex's customers.

Brex's chief financial officer called Levy the "mastermind" behind the company's new partnership with JetBlue, which allows startups to cash in points for miles. He spent many hours flying to New York to convince the airline to give select customers preferred status and later to allow all customers to transfer rewards.

Levy also oversees high-profile deals and partnerships with Intuit, NetSuite, Amazon Web Services, WeWork, and Zoom. His team drives almost 40% of new revenue every month, the startup said.



Dana Millard 2019-09-09

We’re excited to announce an addition to the Extra Crunch community perks.

Starting today, annual Extra Crunch members can get 100,000 Brex Rewards points after signing up for a Brex corporate credit card.

Brex’s corporate credit card is designed for startups, and Extra Crunch was built for the startup ecosystem.

We understand that startups are trying to be as frugal as possible with spending, and we felt that the Brex corporate credit card was the perfect way to stretch those valuable dollars.

Brex gives startup founders and finance teams higher credit limits than what they would get with any other business credit card option, and it does so without requiring a personal credit check or security deposit during the application.

There are some impressive reward multipliers across categories like rideshare, travel, and restaurants.

Evelyn Fowler 2021-04-26
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Brex, a fintech company that provides corporate cards and spend-management software to businesses, announced earlier today that it closed a $425 million Series D round of capital at a valuation of around $7.4 billion. The new capital came less than a year after Brex raised $150 million at a $2.9 billion pre-money valuation. So, how […]
Robert Sanchez 2020-08-05
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Brex

  • On May 29, Brex, a three-year-old fintech that had skyrocketed to a $3 billion valuation, laid off 62 members, or roughly 17%, of its staff.  It had announced a $150 million fundraise less than two weeks prior.
  • Among those cut was Paul-Henri Ferrand, Brex's recently hired COO, along with senior employees on the customer experience, compliance, and marketing teams. 
  • Insiders revealed a fast-growing company that was already grappling with employee turnover and aggressive financial targets in early 2020.
  • Click here to read the full investigation.

This story was originally published on June 10. 

Early on the morning of May 29th, an email landed in the inbox of members of Brex's customer-experience team.

The note, sent from a manager's address, explained how difficult the recent meeting had been and how, unfortunately, some members of the team would be let go. Those who were safe would receive a separate email, while those who would be let go would get a meeting invite, according to a recipient of the note who verbally described it to Business Insider. 

The problem? No meeting had taken place yet. 

The email was sent around 6:30 a.m. PST, according to one of the recipients of the note. The day was just getting underway for the team, which was spread across Brex's offices in San Francisco, Salt Lake Valley, Utah, and Vancouver.

It didn't take long to understand layoffs were coming. The coronavirus had crippled much of the economy, and Brex, a startup offering corporate charge cards for early-stage companies, was no exception, despite raising $150 million a few weeks earlier at a $3 billion valuation. 

A few hours later, an all-hands meeting appeared on all Brex employees' calendars. By 11 a.m. PST co-founder Pedro Franceschi addressed his 400-plus employees. Brex was laying off 62 people.

Business Insider talked to eight current and former employees to learn more about the run-up to the layoffs and how the cuts went down.

In July, Brex added FDIC insurance to its bank account-like Brex Cash service. The fintech also announced Katie Biber, who spent time at Airbnb and Thumbtack, had joined as its chief legal officer.

To read the full story, which is exclusive to BI Prime subscribers, click here.

SEE ALSO: Read the full memo Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky just sent to staff announcing 1,900 job cuts. It lays out severance details and which teams are getting hit the hardest.

SEE ALSO: Silver Lake has been plowing money into bets like Airbnb, Twitter, and Waymo. Here's a look inside why it's being called the Warren Buffett of tech.

SEE ALSO: 4 top VCs explain why Stripe, Square, and Finix are going to be big winners in a post-COVID-19 world

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths

Blaine Pilgrim 2018-10-17

Earlier this month, Brex, a credit card provider to startups, announced it had raised $125 million at a $1.1 billion valuation.

Today, YC has released the latest list of its most successful companies since it began backing startups in 2005.

Ranked by valuation and/or market cap, Brex, sure enough, is the youngest company to crack the top 20:

Airbnb: An online travel community and room-sharing platform founded by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk.

Stripe: A provider of an online payment processing system for internet businesses founded by John and Patrick Collison.

Cruise: Acquired by GM in 2006, the company is building autonomous vehicles.

Damion Gutierrez 2019-01-13
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When I hear protesters shout, “Immigrants are welcome here!” at the San Francisco immigration office near my startup’s headquarters, I think about how simple a phrase that is for a topic that is so nuanced, especially for me as an immigrant entrepreneur.

Growing up in Brazil, I am less familiar with the nuances of the American debate on immigration legislation, but I know that immigrants here add a lot of jobs and stimulate the local economy.

My tech startup Brex has achieved a lot in a short period of time, a feat which is underscored by receiving a $1 billion dollar valuation in just one year.

But we didn’t achieve that high level of growth in spite of being founded by immigrants, but because of it.

The key to our growth and to working towards building a global brand is our international talent pool, without it, we could never have gotten to where we are today.

So beyond Brex, what do the most successful Silicon Valley startups have in common?

Michael Smith 2019-09-23
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Technology is shattering legacy financial systems that can’t keep pace with market demand — and Brex is at the forefront.

It’s one of fintechs buzziest startups, aiming to rebuild B2B financial products starting with corporate cards for technology companies.

The company was quietly launched in 2017 by Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, two 22-year-old engineers who previously founded Pagar.me, one of Brazil’s largest payment processors.

Brex already has more than 1,000 customers signed up with the help of backing from investors including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, early Facebook investor Yuri Milner, former Visa CEO Carl Pascarella, and esteemed startup incubator Y Combinator.

And we caught a glimpse of the Series B pitch deck Dubugras and Franceschi used to win them over.

In it, they lay out a clear problem: Technology startups often had trouble securing corporate credit cards — even if they had millions in the bank — because legacy banks and card issuers wanted to see company credit histories, which young institutions simply couldn’t produce.