FinTech Profile: Brex, the credit card for startups
[image: Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugra...
FinTech looks at a company that has achieved a US$2.6bn valuation in just two years: Brex.
[image: Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras]
Brex was founded in 2017 by Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras who both moved to Silicon Valley in order to create the service for entrepreneurs. In 2018, Brex launched its first corporate card for startups, following a $57mn round of funding and soon introduced its rewards program, as well as announcing partnership with TravelBank that would allow Brex's users to book travel directly through its platform. In 2019, the fintech launched a corporate card for e-commerce companies, as well as announcing a number of new partnerships including one with Clear Channel, which enables it to offer discounted advertising.
- Startup spotlight: Hastee lets you decide when you get paid
- Fintech profile: Nubank, the Latin-American unicorn
- FinTech Profile: Revolut - the money management disruptor
- Read the latest edition of FinTech Magazine, here!
What are the benefits?
Brex is designed to assist with inventory, shipping and advertising costs. Users are allowed to have the first 60 days credit-free, allowing for free cash flow that can give startups the freedom to build.
In recent months, Brex has announced the creation of Brex Cash, a bank account replacement for businesses. With the use of this account, customers can earn a return of 1.6% or more on cash balances, which is currently the highest rate in the marketplace.
“Even before customers think about credit cards, they need a place to store their business capital. Brex Cash delivers just that - with an unmatched combination of ease of use, superior rewards, no fees and higher returns,” said Dubugras.
Did you know?
Brex is not the first joint business venture between the two founders. Franceschi and Dubugra had previously built the financial startup Pagar.me.
For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.
Upgrade launch new credit card with bitcoin rewards
Upgrade, a fintech company focused on providing credit for mainstream consumers, has launched the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card a new version of its Upgrade Card featuring bitcoin rewards. Under the new programme, users earn unlimited 1.5% bitcoin rewards on every purchase as they make payments.
The custody and trading platform for holding and selling bitcoin is provided by NYDIG and the card is a Visa Signature card, which includes benefits such as trip and baggage insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.
The company offers credit lines from $500 to $25,000 with the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card depending on your credit score. It works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Like other Upgrade credit cards, there are no monthly fees, late fees, or returned payment fees.
"Upgrade Card is already delivering over $3 billion in annualised credit to consumers," said Renaud Laplanche, co-founder and CEO at Upgrade. "Starting today, anyone can apply for an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card and enjoy the same affordable and responsible credit as with any Upgrade Card, plus the potential upside and fun of owning bitcoin."
Participating in the crypto economy
Upgrade isn’t the first company to announce a credit card with bitcoin rewards, but it’s the first one that is generally available. Anyone can apply with no waitlist, and start using their virtual card immediately until they get their physical card in the mail.
"Crypto rewards introduce cardholders to a new asset class that is increasingly part of a consumer's financial portfolio," said Terry Angelos, SVP and Global Head of Fintech at Visa. "Whether you're a crypto enthusiast or just getting started, programmes like the Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card offer an engaging and low-risk way to participate in the crypto economy."
At the moment, you can’t do much with your bitcoins. You can choose to hold them or sell them. There’s no way to transfer your bitcoins to another wallet for instance. If you choose to sell your rewards, there’s a 1.5% transaction fee.
This card is not currently available in all 50 states. Customers in Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia can’t order an Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Card at the moment.