My guest today is Henrique Dubugras, co-founder and CEO of Brex, an all-in-one finance account for businesses. Brex recently raised funding at a valuation of over 7 billion dollars despite being founded only four years ago. In our conversation, we cover Brex’s transition from a credit card for start-ups to the central account for businesses, why building that central account was orders of magnitude more difficult than expected, and the difference between building a business in Brazil and the US. We also discussed Henrique’s term horizon for building Brex and how that impacts his decision-making for the business. Please enjoy my conversation with Henrique Dubugras.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:53] - [First question] - The state of the B2B financial world before Brex
[00:06:29] - How such a high margin space was generally underserved
[00:08:24] - What the first version of the Brex card looked like
[00:10:48] - How long it took to build and launch their infrastructure
[00:11:13] - Why market penetration is so low for cards in B2B businesses
[00:13:14] - How he thinks about this landscape in Brazil versus the US
[00:14:55] - What interchange and high margins allows him to pass on to the consumer
[00:16:23] - Brex’s first revenue event
[00:17:38] - What the biggest hurdle was to overcome when they launched
[00:19:02] - Key marketing strategy early on and what made it successful
[00:21:16] - Continued distribution lessons they learned from their initial success
[00:22:39] - Building an effective sales force to push their product
[00:24:41] - What makes the current landscape so fertile for fintech businesses
[00:27:12] - Analysis of their unique funding round dynamics
[00:28:42] - Their second product and the insight that lead to that decision
[00:31:05] - Darkest moments while trying to build their central account
[00:31:50] - What their central account allows them to facilitate writ large
[00:35:27] - Notable differences between entrepreneurship in Brazil versus the US
[00:38:55] - Observations on inefficiencies in the US startup space
[00:40:16] - Pros, cons, and costs of being largely remote
[00:41:50] - Keys to building a successful hiring pipeline
[00:44:05] - Lessons learned about decision making and optimization
[00:45:39] - Developing an effective skill set to convince other people of anything
[00:47:35] - What excites him about being a part of Brex lately
[00:49:13] - What excites him about the future in general
[00:50:39] - His business philosophy and the set of principles that guide him
[00:52:03] - Nuances that make focusing on a single problem so attractive
[00:53:51] - Long term infrastructure decisions that will pay off in the end
[00:55:12] - Thoughts and hi perspective on cash flow in general
[00:58:18] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him