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Launch HN: Brex (YC W17) – Corporate Credit Card for Startups
183 points by hdubugras on June 28, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 120 comments
Hi HN –

We are Henrique and Pedro of Brex (https://brex.com/). We've built a corporate credit card for startups that has high limits, an instant online application and no personal guarantees.

Pedro and I built our first payments business in Brazil, Pagar.me, when we were teenagers. We came to the U.S. to attend Stanford. We joined YC W17 and realized quickly – even with a seed round in the millions – that we could not get a corporate credit card. We are Brazilian, young, and do not have U.S. credit. Even if we did have credit – we know that personally guaranteeing a credit card makes no sense for a business (more on that later).

In Brazil, we raised $300K initially (when we were 16) from an investor that was willing to take a chance on us. In Brazil, even though there are 200 million people, there is very little venture capital financing and limited startup infrastructure (accelerators, resources, technical talent, executives experienced with high growth). We knew that $300K was all we were getting, so we had to find a business that could be cash flow positive quickly. It was easier to do that accepting payments online (which naturally generates cash), but it was an operational challenge for sure. We were able to grow quickly in Brazil because we hit the market at the right time, as ecommerce was transitioning to online payments and because we, better than any of the foreign competitors, understood the nuance of Brazil. Specifically on that point, in Brazil the consumer has the option to pay for any card transaction in installments, and that requires a cash outflow for the merchant. Pagar.me figured out how to productize that best to the online market there.

When we got to the U.S., we assumed that the payments system here would be significantly more mature and sophisticated than it was in Brazil, however that was not the case. Particularly on the issuing side (banks extending credit cards), there has been very little innovation or using technology to innovate on features. That is how Brex was born. Over the past year we’ve been incubating and improving and just launched with an online self-signup that lets you get access to a virtual card in minutes. We waited to launch until we had this feature, as we know how much of a pain it is to go through the back and forth of online and paper-based applications. Brex underwrites by connecting directly with your bank account, which means we can offer higher limits than other cards, often 10x-20x more.

From a software perspective, we rebuilt all of the payments tech from scratch, which we learned how to do in our last business. Even then, to build Brex it was still grueling having to deal with the obscure regulations surrounding Know Your Customer (KYC), heavy oversight from banking partners, and complexities associated with interacting directly with Visa. In doing so, we built awesome features like instant virtual cards issued to you and your team and we solved something this time that has been bugging us forever – the fact that you can never tell what a credit card charge is on your statement! We changed the data to give you the actual merchant / vendor and a link to the website. When we did this, we also realized we could do something really unique with receipts – because we know the actual vendor / merchant, we can match any receipt sent to us via SMS or email to your transaction immediately. No need to save receipts or deal with other integrations that have a huge delay between matching a receipt to a transaction, we do it in real time.

Interestingly, from a technical standpoint, we did all this in Elixir. We thought it would be a good choice (and so far we are happy with our decision) because of the distributed nature of the systems that we built and we could rely on the Erlang VM to provide that infrastructure out-of-the-box. Our domain knowledge from Pagar.me allowed us to anticipate the system boundaries and therefore we could build our backend as a distributed system from day one. Another unusual feature about the Brex launch is that we are launching relatively late in our history and with a pretty significant amount of capital from our Series B. We launched the business at YC, but based on our background with Pagar.me and that we were focused on payments again, we raised a ~$7M seed round in Spring 2017. That round was led by Ribbit Capital – which we liked given our connection to Micky there and their expertise in Fintech. YC Continuity led our Series B. In both rounds, for us, it’s all about the relationship with the partner and firm, and we have been huge beneficiaries of the YC ecosystem.

On a personal note, for us the non-personal guarantee aspect of our product is most salient. As I mentioned, we are foreign entrepreneurs who don’t have access to banking products in the U.S. It was demoralizing to come to the U.S. after being successful in Brazil and not be able to get a card – especially given how much activity, particularly online, requires a credit card. Personal guarantees mean an entrepreneur who has already taken a ton of risk has to further put their personal financials on the line, which even if the company pays on time, can hurt his or her credit.

One aspect of the product that we’d love HN feedback on is the signup flow. We gathered great feedback from our beta, and we waited to launch until we had an instant signup product. In financial services, signup flows have meaningfully more constraints than do many consumer signup flows – particularly compared to those with freemium models. For example, we need to collect business information to comply with regulations around anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer standards, as well as ensure the customer’s ability to pay and set up autopay. These constraints mean not only a longer signup flow, but also one that integrates many third party vendors to do compliance, fraud and credit checks. The more integrations and data to handle, the more edge cases we need to be able to support seamlessly. It took a ton of engineering effort to get here, plus a lot of time enhancing our compliance processes and credit framework. In light of those constraints, we’re specifically looking for user feedback on whether or not the flow feels logical, intuitive and simple – and if there are adjustments to the order, text or design that could improve the UI. But we're interested to hear any of your ideas and experiences and discuss the Fintech space generally too. Thanks for taking the time to read this, we’re really happy to be posting here :)

Henrique and Pedro

Got stuck in the signup flow. First, I was super sketched about giving you my bank details. After a while I found the tiny text that says you use a third party, but I couldn't verify that.

I decided to trust you since you're a YC company, and put in my creds anyway. To log into my bank, they required me to send a verification code to my phone. The text never came, but your flow has no way to go back and either request the text message again or have them send an email instead, so I'm now stuck on bank account verification. :(

So, areas for improvement:

1) Use bigger text to show you're using a third party for bank login, and maybe some way to verify that.

2) Create a way to request another token via text or change to email.

This was a concern for me as well. Brand new relationship with a company: now here's all my most precious banking credentials. There needs to be a lot more assurances around this.

In our case, I used bank creds, and immediately changed them to something else.

One other point of feedback. The AWS rewards is a big draw, but you learn new conditions only after you sign up. I don't think it was intentional but it felt a little bit like false advertising. Be sure to state all the conditions upfront that are required to win the rewards.

So the deal here is: you give us your bank credentials and we won’t require any kind of personal guarantee. Other cards wont get your bank data but will require you to personal guarantee. Fincity is used by intuit/quickbooks, that’s why we chose them.

About aws rewards - noted! Will improve clarity

Because it’s a 3rd party (we use finicity) there are some issue with some people from time to time :/

Support should contact you soon to help fix it. Noted on making more clear that it’s a 3rd party!

Yup, support is on top of it, thanks!

was there any particular reason your team went with finicity? You might want to give https://plaid.com a shot.

I am not affiliated with Plaid.

We tried - finicity serves intuit so it works better for business/corporate accounts. Plaid is better for consumers.

got it, thanks for replying! Best of luck with Brex!

Curious who you would trust more: Brex or a 3rd party you may have heard of?

I would probably trust the 3rd party if I'd used them before and not gotten scammed, but honestly I don't like sharing that info with anyone.

I understand why they want it, but I wish there were a better way than "here is write access to my bank".

Agreed. Having a startup, YC or not, have full access to our bank accounts is not giving me warm fuzzies.

I've asked our bank to make all ACH transactions above a threshold require manual authorization to improve our risk exposure. While ACH transactions can be reversed, it wouldn't be pretty do be without funds during arbitration.

Thoughts in no particular order:

1. Tell me what the rewards are. Right now I get credit card reward points worth ~1.5% of my monthly spending; I'm not going to switch cards based on "we have fantastic rewards, trust us!"

2. Find a way to integrate with Stripe! They've already done all the AML/KYC stuff, and they also have plenty of information about my revenue. For that matter, why have money bounce via a bank account -- find a way for me to have the money I receive via Stripe pay off the Brex card first.

3. Seconding the request to support people outside of the USA. My company does its banking via a US bank account but both I and my company are based in Canada.

1 - Today with Brex if you signup and have Brex be your primary card you get: $5k of AWS, $105 in Doordash and $105 on Instacart. Although we're building a new rewards program that will launch later this year, would love to hear your thoughts on what a great rewards program looks like for you.

2 - Interesting thought on the payment! Will investigate it. On the AML/KYC by regulation we can't rely on another party, we have to do our own :/

3 - Working on it!

we're building a new rewards program that will launch later this year, would love to hear your thoughts on what a great rewards program looks like for you.

Honestly, dollars are fungible. For less sophisticated customers, points which can be redeemed specifically for travel are attractive because people anticipate getting better deals than they end up with; but I'd be disappointed if that works well for the audience you're targetting here. Just make it a cashback %age based on the fees you get from the card network.

On the AML/KYC by regulation we can't rely on another party, we have to do our own :/

Ah, too bad. But even if you have to do your own AML/KYC paperwork, pulling data from Stripe should help with risk scoring, right? In particular, for those of us with unfunded but profitable startups.

I disagree. I have no interest in fungible dollars when the alternative is miles which can be used to get outsized return on experiences.

I have plenty of ways of making money, and trying to optimize for a %age of cash back is not particularly interesting.

Miles and points on the other hand can be used to get experiences that would otherwise be completely out of question due to their price. It adds something meaningful to my life.

Flying to Australia in first class on Emirates is more memorable than making $1,500 of cash-back.

I guess I go exactly the opposite. Theoretically, you can get more value out of carefully playing a narrow rewards program, but a simple cash incentive has its own benefits. Notably, you're not stuck within the confines of the available rewards, and it's hard to devalue a dollar balance as easily as announcing that a free flight is now twice as many miles.

I cashed out a cash-rewards card recently, and bought a work chair with the proceeds; I don't think most miles/points plans would have let me get that.

Hence my point about people anticipating better deals than they end up with. Averaged over the entire customer base, the value of the rewards received is strictly bounded by the amount the credit card issuer is willing to spend on said rewards.

...but... you can use the money to buy a first class ticket!

A first-class ticket on Emirates bought in cash is a whole lot more than $1,500. But it'd be about about the points equivalent of that.

How do you figure? As far as I know, you can't buy points with money, so it's $XX,XXX worth of flights.

Take the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, for example. It ears 1.5% cash-back in the form of points. Those same points can also be transferred to airlines (as long as you have their premium card)

If you have 115,000 points, you can use them towards a $1,150 cash credit. On the other hand, those points can also be used to book a Singapore to Zürich flight in their brand new first class, which would ordinarily cost $6,000+. one-way

An even more pronounced example: with just 30,000 points (or what would be $300 in cash-back), transferred to United, you can book HKG-SYD (a 13h trip) in business class, which would ordinarily cost $3,000+ one-way.

Oh, I see, you mean credit cards. I was thinking miles accrued from flights and was confused, thanks.

THIS +1000000000000

Don't care about cashback cards under 5%. Earning miles and points is much more meaningful and attractive.

1 - makes sense... thanks for the feedback

2 - integrating stripe as a datasource for underwriting is definetly in our roadmap!

> Today with Brex if you signup and have Brex be your primary card you get: $5k of AWS, $105 in Doordash and $105 on Instacart.

That's a hell of a sign up bonus! Is the $5K for entirely new AWS accounts or do existing accounts that sign up and update their current account with the new payment option as the primary get it as well?

It works for existing customers! But it needs to be the first aws credits you’ve ever got. If you got AWS credits from someone else before, it wouldn’t be applicable.

I'm assuming it is $5k for the first year? Do these credits expire?

Yes - for the first year

This conflicts with the $20-30k available from most accelerators/incubators/VCs,c which also need to be there first credits.

About the signup flow:

I'm a founder searching for a corporate credit card, so naturally I'm comparing benefits with other cards.

The rewards page boasts "Brex gives you valuable rewards equivalent to 500,000+ points on competitor card programs.", but gives no specific information about these rewards without signing up. This felt deceptive / scammy to me, and I instinctively closed the page.

Later I found the rewards FAQ question, but the statement "Like our cards, our rewards are different. They offer valuable savings to companies on the products they use most, like software, servers and advertising. These rewards help build the company, rather than competitor rewards programs that offer consumer-oriented benefits for individuals." again was too vague to know whether it was worth signing up to learn more.

Just my anecdote, but I would suggest offering more details on the reward program pre-signup.

Today with Brex if you signup and have Brex be your primary card you get: $5k of AWS, $105 in Doordash and $105 on Instacart.

Although we're building a new rewards program that will launch later this year, would love to hear your thoughts on what a great rewards program looks like for you.

And thnaks on the feedback on the clarity around the rewards - will improve!

Is this still going on? I just discovered this post today and signed up, but didn't see any mention of the AWS/Doordash/Instacart benefits.

$5k of AWS is indeed incredible; can you share how you are able to offer such a generous benefit?

We partnered with AWS :)

Is this related to AWS Activate ? Can we still get the credit if we are already part of the Activate program ?

"Tired of confusing international finance complexity? Just Brex It!"

Did you guys sell this idea to the UK government?

That is quite a story. Congratulations to both of you for both managing to turn every downside you were facing into an upside and tremendous perseverance.


I'm also in the credit card world (I suppose I'm one of your competitors: I work for the Small Business team at Capital One). (Obligatory disclaimer: I speak only for myself here, and do not in any way represent the views of my employer.)

First of all, I'd like to say "Great Work!" You have a compelling and interesting product, with a very interesting set of features. Your rewards program is innovative (especially the idea of offering AWS credits, given your target audience). I'll let others who are more qualified comment on your website and signup process, but I wanted to let you know that I think your product is quite innovative.

I am actually curious how you are managing risk on this card. Underwriting businesses well can be difficult given the paucity of reliable data, but underwriting startups is even more difficult as there IS no history to go on for the business. Most lenders address that by relying heavily on a credit assessment of the founder(s), but you are offering the (unusual) "non-personal guarantee". If it's not something you consider a trade secret, what approach are you taking to assess and balance the risk of losses in making loans to a category of business famous for it's high rate of failure?

(By the way, if you're open to having a conversation with a competitor and would like to have a chat, reach out to me by email.)

I'm in analytics for several banks (including credit cards) and have always thought that one of the key competitive edges is managing risk so in my mind, it'd be a trade secret ;)

But also curious about the answer to the question :)

> in my mind, it'd be a trade secret

Yes, I will be completely unsurprised if that's the answer, and I don't mean to pry. But I'm also aware that there are benefits to open conversation and to the extent that I'm allowed to, I am happy to engage in such!

Agreed. Happy to engage as well.

What part of small business credit cards are you in?

I'm an architect for our Small Business department (used to do just the Small Business Bank, more recently expanded my purview to cover Small Business Credit Card as well. Further conversation is probably better done over email (my contact info is in my profile).

Love the clean sign up and landing page without endless jargon. Good job!

It would be great if you could clarify what the rewards actually are (especially since they are highlighted quite a bit).

eg: Are the rewards on AWS double/triple points on your spend? Or do Brex members received some amount of free compute credit?

Also - we're building a new rewards program and would love to know your thoughts on what a great rewards program would look like for you.

For us it’s hard to conceptually free ourselves from our existing points system with Chase. We spend about $125k/month on our card and get something like 1% in points back. So we blow past the $5k AWS thing (which I agree is a cool concept) in about half a month!

I’d encourage you guys to try to keep innovating on the rewards side though (like you are with the current rewards). It seems like one trick is that it has to scale to businesses like ours that are still smallish but have significant spend.

If you signup for Brex and make Brex your primary card you get $5k AWS credits + 105$ on Instacart and Doordash.

Oh and thanks for the compliment on the landing page!

Love the concept and you also managed to nab a former coworker of mine.

But: I highly recommend not having that per-user fee waive promo. You never know who might signup today. We would all happily pay anyway most likely :)

I highly recommend not having that per-user fee waive promo

Correct. At $5/month per user I "assume" more people will sign up than if it were free. This is a corporate/business product, free does not yield more confidence.

Considering that Amex business charge cards are free for employees I would not have the same sentiment. Card issuers make lots of money on the % fee that merchants pay to process a credit card transaction.

Thanks for the feedback! As soon as Saturday the promo will be over :)

They nabbed one of mine too, lol.

Who did we nab?

Thanks for feedback on pricing! Promo will be over Saturday :)

Kind of shocked on raising the funds, I guess you have had good adoption on the platform?

Maybe I am missing the point of what is being solved? Access to business credit is a really straightforward process, you can incorporate and with ZERO assets or revenue have a 5k credit card issued on the spot.

In terms of managing credit cards within a company and the other features you're listing out they looked already solved by a company called Emburse, https://www.emburse.com.

I guess this is a run for the market before Emburse takes it over?

Hey! Indeed we do have very good traction. But the fact that you can get business credit with zero assets or revenue is true if you're wiling to personally guarantee the card, because then it's just like getting a personal card but with your business name on it. I as an immigrant without a lot of personal credit history was unable to get a card when starting Brex. Today, we raised over $57m and we're still unable to get cards from banks. We're the first card to actually underwrite startups and give them a card with high limits and no personal guarantee.

Hi Henrique and Pedro. Great service idea. I love the write up.

I just signed up and after clicking the activation link in the email, I started the application. When it go to the step asking about my bank, I said it wasn't listed and then I typed in my bank name. Now I'm sitting at the final page with the 'Submit Application' button, but it's grayed out. I'm using Firefox Nightly on Ubuntu.

The rest of the flow was pretty easy though. Nice job.

EDIT: Larissa was able to help me via the intercom chat. Great support integration!

Oh glad that worked out!

I liked your story and would like to help you with the signup flow, however I live outside the US so I thought I would just run your homepage through Google DevTools Lighthouse Audit for you.

Seems that you have a few easy wins to get your site up to scratch. Compress the images, add a basic progressive web app to impress Googlebot and put in a few of the other minor fixes (e.g. 'uses document.write()') and you should be there with an accessible site that ranks well.

Google's mod_pagespeed will fix the images for you and tidy up the downloads, mushing the scripts together to reduce the js startup time. I think you can also get rid of the polyfills for older browsers.

Maximal accessibility isn't about making the site for blind people it is about making the site work for those that have high data rates and poor 3G connections. However, the ethos of accessibility is on-brand for your product.

I audit everything these days and you are not doing badly compared to a lot that I see. Always room for improvement and premature optimisation is the root of all evil, hence my suggestion of just letting mod_pagespeed do it for you.


This appears to be a debit card that processes at the end of a statement period rather than immediately. Is that accurate?

If so, is the phrase "credit card" in the FAQ a mistake?

It's technically a Charge Card, which is a type of credit card that doesn't allow you to keep a balance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_card

How is that better than a debit card?

You’re playing with the banks money, so you have reduced risk exposure.

Debit cards are always dumb. Think of it this way... if some skel gets ahold of your card and has a party, you’re stuck in a world of bureaucracy and problems. In my case, a stolen card or number on the 29th of the month means that my mortgage, car, possibly insurance, as well as one or more credit cards with automatic payment will be rejected for insufficient funds. I have a problem.

If somebody steals my Amex or compromises the number, Amex has a problem. I call customer service and wish them well.


You have protections under both systems (debit & credit), but the ones on the credit card are much more in your favor. With credit cards it's pretty hard to end up on the hook for the fraudulent charges (50$ limit on liability), while on debit cards you have to report the charges before a deadline.


With a debit card I have to take money out of my savings or money market account beforehand and make sure that money is in my checking account before I make a purchase and make sure there's a buffer in there in case of holds, fraud, mistake, etc. Otherwise I'm risking my mortgage payment bouncing or overdrafts and all the fees associated with that. So I either have to watch my checking account like a hawk to make sure my spending estimates are on target or have a big buffer of money that makes no interest.

With a charge card I can just make the purchase willy nilly and transfer out of my savings the exact amount of money I've spent all at once at bill pay time. If I get an unexpected charge then my mortgage doesn't bounce and I don't get hit with overdraft fees. Not only that, the statement only closes once a month, so I have a pretty significant interest free period; which is great if I'm fronting money for work expenses and have to wait for the reimbursement, for example.

There's also better fraud protection, rewards, and other benefits (rental car insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection, trip delay insurance, return protection, etc. etc.) that I don't get with a debit card but I do get with a charge card.

Your debit card use doesn't effect your credit score/history but using a charge card does since it still is a credit line, even if the loan term is very short.

For cash flow purposes, a charge card lets you smooth out disbursements out of your bank account to one single point in time (your payment due date). Predictability is useful when managing finances in general, and ostensibly more so when running a small business. You also get fraud protection, which is certainly helpful.

I have to say, this is the best Launch HN I've ever read. The detail and narrative are great. Good luck!

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I love the fact that he is always precise and delivers properly with detailed reports. His prices are quite favorable and trust me expect a good and clean job, his services are trustworthy… you can contact him via: alphahackservice@workmail.com

Henrique and Pedro, parabéns!

Congrats on your trajectory so far! You are a real inspiration.

Do you happen to have some published interviews or blog post sharing more about your history? I always hear good things about you both, but it is hard to find primary accounts of your trajectory.

I wish you the best of luck!

Thanks! YC published an interview with me yesterday.


Let me know your thoughts on it :)

Great, thanks! Will listen to it on my way home!

I've been looking for a something to do virtual cards for single-use payments and/or assign a virtual card to a vendor, preferably with webhook style notifications posting back to our servers with charge activity.

Is brex a fit now, or in the near future?

You can easily create a virtual card for vendors and set low limits! But we don't support webhooks yet, but good idea. We don't believe in single-use payments because it's a pain to manage multiple card number, but we soon we'll have the ability to restrict a card to a vendor/category so you can just add specific payment abilities to the same card number.

For most matters, trust is less of an issue but for finances and banking details, it’s an incredibly important aspect of doing business.

I work in analytics/data science at a bank. We’ve been doing lots of great research on fintechs and entrepreneurs.

Re: fintech - Trust comes up a lot so anything you can do (i.e. partnerships, social proof, etc) would go some way. Customers use us as their main account but regularly funnel money to startup banks. However, they’ve mentioned they would never really put large amounts of money with startup banks and are happy to continue with their current setup.

Hi Henrique and Pedro! Interesting product - could you guys elaborate on how Brex is able to offer cards with much higher limits without any personal guarantees?

Hey! So the way we do it is that when you signup for Brex you link your bank account. We use that data + investor data to try to predict the ability to pay instead of looking at financial history. The caveat there is that your limit can go either up or down with time, depending on your cash burn, fundraising and other factors. That's why we're only working with startups, because they're very predictable in terms of cash spend. They raise rounds, spend money, raise another round or die.

I'm a former purchasing manager turned developer, I can tell you the p-card business is ripe for innovation. This is a great space to go after. Good luck!

Thanks! Excited to enter this space.

What will you be using my transactional information for? Will you be commercializing my transactional information in some way? With the banking information you require for sign up will you be funneling other financial information about my startup to other companies? What safeguards do I have that a competitor won't have a way to gain knowledge about the financial state of my company through data commercialized by Brex?

We will use your transaction data for underwriting purposes. We contractually have the ability to commercialize your data in an aggregate way, so for example we could say “starups on brex are spending more money on saas every month this year compared to last year”. But never the name of specific information about your company. Don’t worry, your competitors won’t have access to your data.

Boostrapping, so I pay corporate expenses out of a personal account on months when the corporate account is low: is this card right for me?

Probably not... most of the applications that are approved have some sort of 3rd party person/institution financing them. If you do end up raising money, then it’ll be right! Over time we hope to improve our credit model to support more bootstrapping startups

How is this different from a, for example, chase business credit card (or debit card for that matter)? If you have funding but no credit history you can get one. I was 19 when I got mine. I don't understand how connecting to my bank account provides 10-20x more credit if you're already verifying my startup's funding.

1 - chase will require a personal guarantee, what that means is that you’re personally responsible for the credit card. Your ssn is on the line. With Brex, we underwrite your company.

2 - our credit algorithm is actually very different and the limit changes according to your bank balances.

3 - it’s actually a credit card (technically a charge card), so it has all the protections of a standard credit card, people dont have access directly to your balance like a debit card.

Does that make sense?

Out of curiosity, what happens in the unfortunate case of a startup closing shop while still carrying a Brex balance?

Ie, does Brex have some legal senior debt-holder claim against the company’s assets? And what happens to the personal credit history of the founders, does it remain untarnished since they were never personally responsible?

We don’t allow people to carry a balance, it’s technically a charge card. Personal history is never toched

What are the benefits over a prepaid credit card?

Oh and if you mean the secured credit card - we can give higher limits without having to set up a security deposit and tie up your cash

1 - you don’t have to worry about prefunding the card, just spend!

2 - you have 30 day float, so more time to pay the statement

Our company (Airfox) is a happy Brex user. Thanks for the prompt customer support. Really solid product!

Thanks! Happy you guys like it :)

This may be prying and off topic, so sorry if it is, but how do you guys plan on making money? From the $5/user/mo fee? Or does Visa hand over a piece of the 2.x% transaction fee?

Well-funded fintech co that just ran into this- going to check it out!

Let me know your thoughts :)

Heyyyyyyy congrats!

Any chance of getting pagar.me to Argentina? Our options suck here

We sold the company - so up to the new management!

Business financing is really hard. Look into OnDeck’s quarterly reports, they are the biggest in this space (and a public company you can learn from).

Is this US only? I'd be interested in trying the service. We're based in Europe.

You bought a billboard before launching on HN? Not sure if very impressed or very confused.

We bought it together with the press launch, which was last Tuesday :)

No support for EU countries?

Not yet unfortunately

This was a great write up. Also I hope I get a chance to use and love the product. I'm a founder who lives outside the US and has a US company and bank account via Stripe Atlas. Just signed up and got to the "Information Requests" branch of the flow. Entered my passport, birthdate in fine. But when it came to "Enter the person's address", there were only options for US addresses. I'm living outside the US so I hesitated between using my company mailing address, and my last address in the USA, and went with the latter (but probably the former is a better idea). Also, regarding the interface, there was no "submit" button on the address view, which let me feel confused as when I had entered my business address, I couldn't find the button. When nothing happened, I thought, "maybe, the system is checking it, and it's invalid", so I entered my last US address instead, then hit "enter" and it worked. You can consider this some more user experience data :) Great writeup and thanks for making it available and for the offer of waiving the fees USD5/users/month fees if you do the first transaction before June 30.

Pedro from Brex here :) Thanks for the feedback, super helpful! 1. We will make sure to support international addresses for the individuals, thanks! 2. On the submit button, did you sign-up from mobile/tablet by any chance?

You're welcome. I signed up with a Surface Pro but it wasn't in tablet mode. Chrome 67.0.3396.99 on Windows 10. I tried resizing the browser window a few times to see if a button would appear. I don't know (didn't check the elements panel) but I felt maybe the view had become unable to scroll, and maybe there was a button below the viewport. Anyway hope it helps :)

Not a problem now, but if you expand to the UK the word Brexit is on everyone lips and will be for the next decade. Are you sure you won't suffer from Brex-it association brand wise?

Is this basically just using Visa’s API?

One of the parts is integrating with Visa, which for authorization purposes does not have an API, it speaks ISO 8583. There is a lot of other things we built from scratch, like statementing, collections, ledger, user management, etc.


That was covered here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17419039. If you have a substantive point, great, but you need to tell the reader what it is so we can learn something.

Also, please don't use allcaps for emphasis; it's basically yelling, and the site rules ask you not to: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

I see your point but 1) credit is being extended albeit only for about 15 days on average and 2) the Brex website appears to refer to the product exclusively as a "Corporate Card".

I looked at the page: https://brex.com/legal/prohibited_activities/

I am curious about the language that you have used - in particular the use of word "marijuana".

What is the reason to use such derogatory, offensive and deeply racist term for cannabis?

I thought that in 2018 tech companies wouldn't be using language of the 70s that has been used to promote hatred towards the users of this plant.

Please don't break the site guidelines by taking threads on generic flamewar tangents.


I did not intend to start a flame war, just wanted to highligh the fact that the page uses language that is deeply offensive to me. I think I have a right to do that especially that the authors were seeking an opinion. If you think I did break any rules I am happy for you or the moderator to delete my comment.

I believe you, but the problem is that then your language is offensive to somebody else and they also think they have a right to respond in kind, and down in flames we go. That's why the site rules ask people not to take HN threads off topic in inflammatory directions. Divisive topics on the internet work that way; they consume everything else if you let them, so we can't let them.

Thanks for the feedback. Coming recently from Brazil, we're still learning the appropriate language for a lot of things, since we mostly learned english from Brazilian english schools. So when we saw this page, it didn't occur to us that this was an offensive term. What are your suggestions of more appropriate terms? Just cannabis?

Yes, it is cannabis.

> I am curious about the language that you have used - in particular the use of word "marijuana".

> What is the reason to use such derogatory, offensive and deeply racist term for cannabis?

Your username, "merinowool", is deeply offensive to animal rights, is derogatory toward animals and objectifies them as producers of things to be owned instead of real beings.

But that's okay because I won't pretend that if you don't agree to my moral worldview then you must be bad and therefore you need to change to become more like myself. Because why would I be so sure that my views are some objective source of moral truth? But I get if you need to feel that way. Everyone needs their comforting stories, man. And it's an awfully great payoff when others are wrong and you can feel right by comparison! Keep getting high on that morality, man!

More addictive than smoking "weed", ooops, I mean "marijuana". Just curious what year you think "tolerant liberalism" became "fascist groupthink moralism"? Around 1997 was it?

Please don't respond to flamebait with flamewar.

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