The venture capital company invests in one of Brex’s most important rivals, Ramp
Welcome to The Interchange! If this email was sent to your inbox, we’d like to thank you for sign-up and your vote of trust. If this was an article on our website please join us here to get it in the near future. Each week, I’ll provide a look at the most exciting tech news from the week prior. It will cover everything from financing rounds to trends to the analysis of a specific area to the latest news about an individual company or phenomenon. There’s a wealth of Fintech news available and my responsibility is to keep up-to-date and make sense of it all so that you remain informed. Let’s goooo! — Mary Ann
Hey, hey! this is an shorter version of the newsletter since Monday is a day off for us at home in America. U.S. and news was slightly slower than usual this week. However, there’s no time for tired and so let’s get this out!
In the episode on Friday’s Equity Podcast, Natasha, Alex and I talked about the an intimate globe this community of venture capitalists actually is.
A few hours after we recorded on September 1st We learned of a new example of this.
Forbes’ Alex Konrad revealed Brex’s chief sales chief, Sam Blond is now an investor at Founders Fund.
These days, founders and executives transitioning into full-time investment roles is not unusual. However, there were a few aspects of this story that really woke us up.
In the course of this year’s fiscal calendar year Brex achieved decacorn status by securing the announcement of a $300 million funding raise. The frenzied startup started in the beginning by offering corporate credit cards to startups. Over time, it has changed its business model in order to provide ” a big push” into software and serving larger corporate customers, with less emphasis on bootstrapped startups and SMBs. (The change was a bit of a controversial decision that was received with a mix of surprise and discontent among some of the startups’ communities.)
If you’re currently a chief revenue officer for an emerging company growing It’s that’s the oddtime to be leaving. Particularly, in the time that Blond was reported to be one of the first 20 employees of the company.
Konrad writes: “At the time, Brex had only a placeholder website and less than $100 in sales…four-plus years later, the business has several hundred million dollars of annualized revenue.”
In addition, but, Blond left Brex to join a venture capitalist firm that invests in one of Brex’s most formidable competitors in the field of corporate spending, Ramp.
For those who aren’t familiar, Brex and Ramp have been at it for a long time.
Blond said in Forbes that he’d taken the decision to start “full-time startup investing” early in the year. According to the report: “He interviewed with several firms, but decided to go with one whose co-founder, Midas List investor Keith Rabois was instrumental in welcoming Blond to the local tech industry. I’ve always been impressed by Keith and his reputation, as well as Founders Fund,’ Blond states. “When I realized the time was right to go into VC and was able to see to me that Founders Fund was the top option to consider.’ “
I tried to contact Blond to find out his thoughts on the news via an fintech lens. Blond was getting ready to board the plane, but we managed to complete this quick Q&A
TC When exactly did you decide to leave Brex?
SB I’m an employee full-time at Brex. My final day as a full-time employee will be the day before I begin my new job at FF. We’ve appointed a brand new CRO Doug Adamic as my replacement and I’ve been helping in the transition.
You have told Forbes that you’d made the decision to take on full-time investment in startups at the beginning of the year. What prompted you to make the decision? And how did you plan to invest in angels for?
I’ve been investing in angels for around four years. I’ve decided to take on VC full-time due to several motives: (a) I’ve really loved investing in angels, gained a lot of knowledge and I believe that I’ve been able to assist the companies I’ve invested in with their growth to market. (b) I’ve had great success by becoming a partner in two fastest growing technology companies (Zenefits as well as Brex) along with some of the top founders in the world (Parker, Pedro, and Henrique). Combining (a) as well as (b) provide me with a degree of assurance that I’ll be successful in my role as a VC (picking the right companies and helping them increase revenue). (c) Brex has been an incredible experience and the successes we’ve experienced can be hard to duplicate in the event that I decide to join a different firm. I’m prepared and excited to take on a new challenge.
What will you be focusing on for the Founders Fund? Are you planning to invest in fintech companies?
Sam can be described as generalist in investing across sectors, stages and geographical regions, as do many of our partners. However, Sam is particularly interested in the early stage of enterprise transactions.
What do you think of the possibility you know that Founders Fund is an investor in Ramp one of Brex’s largest rivals? Do you think that’s an issue in any way?
I consider Ramp as being an FF portfolio company as just a bit of coincidence. It was not a factor in my decision to join. My goal will be to invest in and supporting startups in portfolio firms. I’m extremely dedicated to Brex and the other people I’ve formed close bonds with.
You were among Brex’s first employees. What are your thoughts about Brex’s future?
I’m extremely confident about Brex’s future. The team is phenomenal and the approach using Empower is distinctive and already seeing early successes in gaining larger enterprise clients.
What exactly how profitable is the buy now pay later (BNPL) market? asks TC+ editor Alex Wilhelm. “New research from Klarna as well as recent earnings figures from Affirm reveal that establishing a global business in the fintech sector isn’t inexpensive. The two firms, Affirm American and Klarna Swedish are among the highest-valued companies within the BNPL market at present. They’re now almost equal in terms of worth. Both recently released their financial numbers.”
The the Business Headers Ivan Mehta: “Block’s (formerly called Square) cash App allows users to pay for purchases on sites that are not part of the Square network. Up until now, customers could only pay via Cash App Pay the Square Terminal or online merchants who are part of the Square network. Square has partnered in partnership with American Eagle, Aerie, Tommy Hilfiger, Finish Line and JD Sports for the launch and more merchants such as Romwe, Savage x Fenty, SHEIN, thredUP and Wish expected to be announced in the next few months.”
There were some intriguing funding deals made outside of Africa in the last week (see the following section for more information on them) Our correspondent in the field, Tage Kene-Okafor also reported on the ways in which Kuda is a challenger bank that is based on the continent of Nigeria as well as in the U.K., ” is joining the ranks of tech firms that operate in Africa which are cutting back their staff. The announcement of cuts, first revealed by sources to Business Headers by sources that were verified via Kuda via email, stating that it cut down less than 5percent of its 450-strong employees, which amounts to around 23 people…It was in August that Kuda, a digital bank that has zero or low charges on accounts, cards, maintenance and transfers , and is one of Africa’s fastest growing companies has was able to raise 55.5 million dollars.”