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Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. Learn more and stay-up-to-date at https://joincolossus.com/
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May 27, 2021

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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Show Notes

[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

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