- After a long day at the office, I walked about a mile to the new Brex office near Oracle Park.
- Tonight’s Brex Talks featured: Henrique Dubugras (Brex Co-Founder), William Hockey (Plaid Co-Founder and CTO), and Jules Maltz (IVP investor)
- Kate Clark from TechCrunch moderated the panel (She immediately owned the room. Very impressive.)
The place was packed
How’s that for an office view
Here are my takeaways from tonight’s panel:
- There are 70,000 startups in the U.S.
- When Kate asked Henrique how they came up with the name of their company: Brex.com as a domain name was the most modestly priced four letter domain name for sale (influenced by Paul Graham essay “Change Your Name“)
- Brex was originally a VR play when they got accepted into YC
- William mentioned several times the concept of turning $1 of ad spend into $1 of revenue
- “I think of [venture] capital as a double-edge sword” [Jules Maltz]
- Brex paid $300K for three months of billboards in SF
- Raising a lot of money early allowed Brex to pay well for top talent
- Henrique started his first company at 16 in Brazil (raised $300K)
- “We really try to have a lot of empathy for entrepreneurs” [Jules]
- “How do you turn dollars into revenue?” [William Hockey]
- “Unfortunately VC is a little like heroin. Once you take it, you gotta keep taking it.” [William]
- “To a certain extent, we’re always fundraising.” [Henrique Dubugras]
- Late stage fundraising is a completely different sport from early stage.
- Using the same pitch deck for a series A pitch and a Series B is a mistake
- IVP: The average time they’ve known a founder before writing a check is 20 months
- “I want to be that financial hub in your life” [William]
- Brex monitors churn by cohort
- Brex pays for points out of their pocket
- “I personally have a special place in my heart for sales” [Henrique]
- “In Silicon Valley, we definitely overplay engineering over sales.” [William]
- “The big guys are pretty good at sales.” [Henrique]
We traded some emails in the past. I sent him some Paubox socks. First time meeting Henrique in person.