This year, Propelify, powered by the NJTC, teamed up with Brex, a startup making waves for startups. Prior to Brex, founders were forced to use personal debit cards, often facing the risk of maxing out multiple credit cards. In 2017, Brex created a corporate card for founders of early stage startups that also removed the need of having it personally guaranteed.
The Propelify team had a chance to sit down with Brex as they explained how they became a $2.6 billion company with over 30,000 cardholders within just one year.
Who are the founders of Brex and how did they experience the success of becoming a $2.6 billion-dollar company within the span of one year?
Henrique and Pedro had previously built a payments company when they were teens in Brazil called Pagar.me. After coming to the United States to attend Stanford University, undergrad, they moved onto the next great thing and joined Y Combinator to create a VR company called Veyond. I think if you were to ask either of them today you would understand that Brex was a product of both experiences, Pagar.me and Stanford. Our Card was the outcome of seeing the pains of Y Combinator startups, where every founder was either unable to get a credit card from a traditional bank or had to personally guarantee one. And Brex Cash, our new cash management account, has been a dream ever since the Pagar.me days in Brazil. These two experiences have really driven everything that we have done, and we’ve done both successfully because they were the outcomes of personal experiences – not ideas, but a firsthand understanding of startup pain points.
What advice would Brex have for the entrepreneurial community?
Brex is really an incredible story having grown from nothing to a $2.6 billion valuation in such a short time. A lot of the bumps in the road, the unexpected and the pivots, were avoided because our founders built this business with the future in mind. Everything we do is designed to be scalable, future proofed, and to avoid the growing pains that you would typically see in a business of such high growth.
What will credit cards and cash look like in 5, 10 and 15 years?
We are really seeing the next generation of cards and card tech being created today. Brex has focused on solving pain points for founders using cards, but I think we are also starting to see it proliferate into the traditional consumer space as well. I think we’ll see that what is truly going to change in the near term is that the financial services that we use will become more customer focused, and that starts with leveraging technology.
At Brex, we do that by creating instant onboarding so you can get a virtual card in minutes, creating an elite and caring customer experience team, and by designing time-saving integrations so founders can spend less time on expenses and more time building their company.
If you’re a growing company, head on over to the brex.com/propelify for a special offer and to see how they can help you set up your corporate card today!