Henrique Dubugras is the founder and CEO of Brex. The company is valued at over $1.1 billion and has raised over $220 million. Current investors include Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, DST Global, Ribbit Capital, Global Founders Capital, or Institutional Venture Partners to name a few. Prior to Brex, he cofounded Pagar.me. The company got acquired in 2016. Before this he built an educational platform and a gaming company at age 12.
In this episode you will learn:
- Coming to the US as a foreigner
- Building a network in a major hub
- Experiencing failure at a young age
- Experiencing Y Combinator
- Raising capital from top tier investors
- Fintech companies and regulation
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash. Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
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About Henrique Dubugras:
Henrique Dubugras is Co-Founder & CEO of Brex — the first of its kind credit card for startups. A Brazilian entrepreneur, Henrique built payments company Pagar.me — the Stripe of Brazil — when he was sixteen years old. In just three years, Pagar.me grew to $1.5 billion in volume of transactions processed. Prior to Pagar.me, Henrique built a number of online businesses in Brazil including an online education company and an online dating application. His first engineering role was at Ingresse, a Brazilian online events management company, at the age of 14.
In the fall of 2016, Henrique sold Pagar.me and moved to Palo Alto to start his freshman year studying computer science at Stanford University. After eight months, he left school and moved to San Francisco to co-found Brex.
Brex is the first corporate card designed for startups, born out of frustration when his company had 200K in the bank from investors and could not open a credit card account.
Connect with Henrique Dubugras:
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers Show. Today, I’m very excited about the founder that we have because he’s also a foreigner, just like myself, and I know how hard it is to make it happen in the U.S. coming from outside. I think we are all going to learn a lot. So, without further ado, Henrique Dubugras, welcome aboard today.
Henrique Dubugras: Hey, thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Alejandro: I believe your first rodeo was an online gaming initiative. Is that right?
Henrique Dubugras: That’s correct. Yeah. When I was 12, I got obsessed about this game. It was a paid game, and I asked my parents would they want to pay it for me. I figured if I could learn how to code, I could build an alternative version of the game, let’s call like that and play it for free. That’s how I started my whole thing.
Alejandro: Wow. What age was this?
Henrique Dubugras: This was from 12 to 14.
Alejandro: Wow. At that age, typically people are playing PlayStation and doing nothing.
Henrique Dubugras: I was definitely playing PlayStation as well.
Alejandro: Okay, cool. I guess at this time, you received something that is quite unusual for a 14-year-old, which is an authentication of a patent infringement. What was it like for you?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah. I got a legal notification saying I was breaking some sort of patents and if I didn’t shut off, they would sue me. My mom got really upset about it. I didn’t know what a patent was, honestly, and I had to shut it down two years later when I was 14.
Alejandro: Wow. Did you right away shut it down?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, right away. It was right away.
Alejandro: With the money that you got from this, I believe you started another company which was in the education space. What was this about?
Henrique Dubugras: What happened in the meantime was I was having this 14-year-old crisis because I didn’t know what to do with my life because, for two years, I just did this game. After a while, I started doing some normal stuff. I started watching TV shows, found a girlfriend. I started watching this TV show called Chuck, that was a really good programmer and hacker. He had gone to Stanford, and it was like, “If I want to be like Chuck, I have to go to Stanford.” But I didn’t understand as a foreigner, like yourself, the whole U.S. application process is very complicated. So, I found this other Brazilian guy that was graduating from Stanford, and we made this deal. He was starting a ticketing company in Brazil. We made this deal in which he would teach me the Stanford application process, and in exchange, I would code for him for free. That’s how I got into this whole thing. Then I worked for him for a year. He raised a bunch of money, hired a bunch of senior engineers, but after a year I was like, “Hey, maybe I can try to start my own company.” I decided to start a company that teaches other students the U.S. application process, which I had just learned. That was my first company that got incorporated. I did that for a whole year. I got a bunch of users, but I was never able to monetize it. No one was paying for what I was doing, so it failed miserably. That’s how it went.
Alejandro: How many users were you able to get on this, for example.
Henrique Dubugras: Not a lot. We got like 800,000.
Alejandro: 800,000 is not bad at all. What was it like? Were you guys just trying to find a way to monetize and it was just not happening?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, the problem was that students didn’t have the money or even the means to pay. They didn’t have a credit card, or debit card, or anything like that. And then they had to ask their parents, and their parents didn’t believe that their kids could go to school in the U.S., so it was not like somewhat of a buying power could buy.
Alejandro: When you were frustrated to the point that you’re like, “Okay, there’s no way to do this,” at what point did you decide, “Okay, it’s time to pull the plug.”?
Henrique Dubugras: Nine months into it.
Alejandro: Was there a process that you went through until you made the decision of pulling the plug? Make us be part of that final day where you said, “This is it.”
Henrique Dubugras: I didn’t exactly pull the plug. What happened is that I went to this hackathon in Miami that was worth $50,000 because I needed money because now rental is expensive. We built this dating app called Ask Me Out, which instead of Geolocation, it was Facebook friends. We won the hackathon, came back to Brazil and tried to launch that. It transitioned from one company to the other, I would call it kind of like the same people. We just left it online. We didn’t have anyone working on it anymore. Just left it there. It wasn’t a plug that I pulled, it was more that we transitioned to another idea.
Alejandro: Got it. What were some of the learnings because I’m always a big believer that you either succeed or you learn. I guess in this case, I’m sure that you got big, big lessons. So, what would those be?
Henrique Dubugras: I think that a big lesson that we got was just aiming for a bigger market. We got slightly traumatized with education. If you look at the companies in the world, no one has made too much money off education. Especially international education, you have colleges like private colleges, but it’s a really, really tough market. We learned to go to larger markets. That was one. The second thing is we got a little bit traumatized and obsessed about early monetization which I don’t know if it’s a lesson that should be learned, but it was our own trauma that we decided that we only wanted to work on businesses where monetizing it was very simple.
Alejandro: Makes sense. Then following this, you meet Pedro Franceschi, and then you started to envision a new future, and he was saying, “How about payment?” I believe that you incubated this company called PagarMe. For the people that are listening, it could be viewed as the Stripe equivalent. Tell us about this. How did this come about?
Henrique Dubugras: I met Pedro, and Pedro was also an engineer during his teenage years, much better than I was honestly. We met over Twitter, basically fighting text editors, and then versus Emacs, which I know two popular text editors for coding. Then it got too complicated to fight over 140 characters. We went to Skype, and over Skype, we decided we wanted to work together. He had worked at a payments company during his teenage years, and I had a problem with this payment in this app, because when I built Ask Me Out, we basically had to implement payment methods, and it was a really bad experience. He had experience with payments. I had a bad experience with payments. So, we decided to start a payments company Pagar.me, which I think is pretty accurate to say it was kind of like Stripe in Brazil. That company turned out to work. So, that was good.
Alejandro: Really, really cool. Brazil. Were you guys both from Sao Paulo?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, we’re both from Sao Paulo.
Alejandro: Because Brazil, and correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe that Brazil is not as developed in the venture space, especially when it comes to venture capital firms and stuff like that, for example, the U.S. How did you guys manage to raise the financing?
Henrique Dubugras: For Pagar.me?
Henrique Dubugras: It was like we met this investor when we won the hackathon in Miami. It was presented during a venture capital conference, so there were a lot of investors there. We met one of them through that. The other one, through Brazil connections. We got these two guys to give us $150,000 each. We thought it was an infinite amount of money at the time, but it turned out it wasn’t that much money. But, did a lot of this to get started. I think that the thing there, they invested because it was like a big market, and they thought we were smart, but we were really young, so a lot of people wouldn’t even talk to us.
Alejandro: How old were you guys at this point?
Henrique Dubugras: We were 16.
Alejandro: Wow. For the company, how much did you end up raising in total for Pagar.me?
Henrique Dubugras: 300K. It was the only money we raised.
Alejandro: Okay, got it. Then the company ends up being acquired. Right?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah.
Alejandro: You guys sold the company.
Henrique Dubugras: Correct.
Alejandro: Was there a point where you said, “It’s time to move on.” Or, what happened there?
Henrique Dubugras: The company was doing super well. It was growing a lot. The thing that happened was that we got into Stanford, so we wanted to check that out a little bit. We thought that Pagar.me could be a big business in Brazil, but it couldn’t be massive. It couldn’t be like one of the biggest companies in the world because it was just Brazil. We didn’t have a lot of edge of international expansion and things like that. So, we sold it mostly because we wanted to come to the U.S. and build something here. But the company was doing really, really well when we sold it. We were doing like around a billion and a half dollars in transaction volume.
Alejandro: How many employees did you guys have?
Henrique Dubugras: Around 150.
Alejandro: The terms of the transaction are public?
Henrique Dubugras: No.
Alejandro: Okay, got it. So, you got accepted into Stanford, you and Pedro, and you moved there. Why did you decide to go to Stanford? Is it because of what you remember from watching the Chuck show, or why?
Henrique Dubugras: I think it was like a few things. The very pragmatic one, it got us a visa. That helped. The second is we wanted a break from everything, and college seemed like a good break. It seemed fine, and you could learn a lot of stuff that we were always interested in, and never had the time to learn. It was intellectually stimulating. It was a way to get into the U.S. People here value brands a lot, so we could focus a lot on brands, and Stanford’s a good brand. So, we thought it could help in our thing here, too. And it was also a little bit of a safety net. You know, worst-case scenario, I go back to school kind of thing.
Alejandro: At this point, you probably knew more than most of your professors. It’s really unbelievable because at the end, in school they teach you how others have done it, especially on NBAs rather than you doing it yourself. You also went to Y Combinator. You went to Y Combinator with an idea that you thought would make sense but ended up being something else. Tell us about the experience with Y Combinator. Also, did you do this in parallel with attending Stanford, or you had already finished Stanford?
Henrique Dubugras: No, we didn’t parallel Stanford. We dropped out of Stanford after Y Combinator. When we got to Stanford, we were like, “We don’t do payments anymore. We’re tired of this, dealing with these stupid banks, and this is really hard. Let’s pick something that’s cutting-edge technology. We want to do something really new and really big and really cool. So, we picked VR as that. You know, VR is really hard. We got into YC with the VR company, and that’s what we got. Inside YC, we saw that all these startups had raised a lot of money, sometimes millions of dollars, and they couldn’t get a corporate credit card. We thought that was really dumb, like why can’t you get a card if you raised that much money? That’s how the idea of Brex came by.
Alejandro: Why couldn’t they get a credit card?
Henrique Dubugras: Because they didn’t have any financial history. They just had incorporated a company, went to demo day, and raised a bunch of money. For banks, they don’t know where that money comes from. If you don’t have any history, it’s really hard. Sometimes, they had to have a personal guarantee. Some people didn’t want to personally guarantee it, and some people just couldn’t because, like I said, they’re like us, international. They didn’t have a FICO score yet.
Alejandro: Then, obviously, Brex is born. Walk us through the incubation process of Brex, because you were speaking with these founders. They were telling you about these issues, but what was the process until you said, “Hey, we’re going to drop this idea. We’re going to go with this, and this is how we’re going to do it.”
Henrique Dubugras: I think we dropped the idea first, and then we looked through a bunch of ideas. Then we arrived at Brex. We went through a bunch of ideas. Some started outside of FinTech and started going into FinTech and ended up at payments. But I think the best advice I got during that period was that a lot of people have a lot of ideas all the time. Why are you the founder to build this idea? If some other founder had the same idea at the same time, why are you the founder that’s going to build it better? The fact that we already knew about FinTech, we already knew a lot of things allowed us to be that founder.
Alejandro: Y Combinator, you attended that with Pedro and at that point is where you decided to establish Brex. It was just the two of you guys, or what was the team like?
Henrique Dubugras: Just the two of us and we decided to establish Brex with NYC.
Alejandro: What was the business model that you guys came up with?
Henrique Dubugras: Corporate credit cards for starters. We decided to underwrite you based on cash. Instead of looking at your financial history, we just looked that you had cash. If you had enough cash, we let you get a card. If you didn’t have enough cash, you didn’t get a card.
Alejandro: Got it. FinTech, there’s a lot of regulation. You were talking earlier about dealing with banks and how painful that is. How do you guys manage and overcome whatever hurdles with dealing in FinTech?
Henrique Dubugras: I think one of the first things we did was we knew what to do. When you’re starting a company, like when we were starting VR, we actually didn’t know what to do. Do we need to get a factory? Do we get a prototype? How do we get a prototype? Who do we need to hire? With FinTech, we knew what to do. Our first two, three hires was one generalist person, but then a CFO and a general counsel. That gave us a lot of credibility with the banks when we went and talked to them. That was one point about it.
Alejandro: Did you hired these people while you were in Y Combinator, or once you were finished with Y Combinator?
Henrique Dubugras: Once we were finished. I would say we finish in March. This was between June and August or so.
Alejandro: Got it. What were some of the early days with Brex?
Henrique Dubugras: The early days, it was tough because we were working on getting the banks okay with us. That took a long time. At the same time, we were coding the platform. It just moved really slow. We got to launch Brex June 2018. But for the longest time, we were in Beta, and it took a long time to get it set up. But when we got set up, it just started growing like crazy. It’s a kind of product that it’s different. It’s not that you need to look for product market fit. The risk is different. The risk is you may not ever launch. A lot of credit card companies never launch, but if you do launch, a lot of people want it. That was the challenge that we had.
Alejandro: I guess, Henrique, at this point you were how old?
Henrique Dubugras: This was at 21 or 22.
Alejandro: 21 or 22. Obviously, young. When you’re dealing with all these people in this sector, especially in banking institutions, this is all like grey-haired people. At the beginning, how were their faces when they saw someone that was so young?
Henrique Dubugras: You know, in the beginning, people have some prejudice, but then when you talk to them, and they see that you know what you’re doing, and they see that you’re not just a young kid, you know a lot about payments, a lot of details, and stuff like that, plus you recruited a great team. Our team, our CFO, and our general counsel were actually very, very credible from the beginning. It helped. People get over that and just focus on business.
Alejandro: So, for example, these key hires. Those two first hires that you did, how were you able to find these people because I think that especially a general counsel in a business like this is a make-it-or-break-it. How did you find these individuals, for example?
Henrique Dubugras: Through the investor networks. We had raised some money at that point, and our investors introduced us to people who introduced us to people.
Alejandro: At what point do you realize, “Hey, we’ve got something here with Brex. It’s time to do some capital-raising efforts.”
Henrique Dubugras: It was while we had the idea. We raised money. We’ve closed a round in the last Y Combinator. So, out of Y Combinator, we had 7.5 million dollars.
Alejandro: Was there a point for you with Brex where you said, “I think we’re onto something with this.”?
Henrique Dubugras: I think it was early on. The Series B happens. That got us pretty confident because now we had raised 50 million. It will take a while for us to spend that. At least we can keep working on this for a long time. But then when we launched, and I saw the volume growing a lot every single month, that was, “Okay. Now, I’m pretty sure we’re onto something.”
Alejandro: Really cool. How much has the company raised so far that is publicly reported?
Henrique Dubugras: 220 million.
Alejandro: 220 million. I also heard that the evaluation was reported to be over 1.1 billion, which is, obviously, very impressive. Normally in an authentic startup, what do you see that investors pay most attention to?
Henrique Dubugras: I think the first thing is, can you launch a good product that is actually differentiated? Because a lot of times, companies launch products that are the same as everybody else; the same as the banks. Series A was the founders. Basically, we knew the investors; they knew us. They believed we could build something big. That was the founder stage. Then Series B was we’re about to get a card working and about to launch. A lot of companies die before that, so we had customers, it worked, it was doing well, people were liking it. Then Series C is basically our customers are adopting this really fast, and we’re having really, really high growth.
Alejandro: The differentiator, especially at the beginning is a tough one because you weren’t thinking about the B-round or the C-round. Obviously, you can showcase some of the numbers and the KPIs so that people can get really excited, but on the Series A, obviously, changing a couple of features here and there—you were talking about the founders. What do you think in your case or in other cases that you’ve seen from the network of YC has really been the differentiator on authentic business?
Henrique Dubugras: I think people who actually work in FinTech, that helps a lot because you know how it works. You know what the differences are from a traditional startup. For us, having built Pagar.me before, we knew a lot about FinTech already. That was the kind of differentiators and investors could tell that.
Alejandro: From that experience with Pagar.me, what were some of the lessons? If you had to point to three that you were like, “We are absolutely going to implement those three lessons into whatever we do with Brex.” What were those lessons?
Henrique Dubugras: I think the first lesson was you have to have absolute control over the stock. If you depend on a bank to do something or they have to take their SLAs for you to do anything, you’re going to have a bad product, being that support, being that whatever it is, you need to have absolute control over everything. I think that’s lesson #1. Lesson #2 is FinTech is a capital-intensive business. In our last company, we were lucky that we were profitable soon, but I think if we had a lot more capital, we could have done a lot more. You have to raise a lot of money. That is more important for FinTech than for a lot of other businesses.
Alejandro: Why do you think FinTech is so capital-intensive versus other sectors.
Henrique Dubugras: It’s less about the capital that you spend. It’s more about you need to partner with a lot of financial institutions. If you have no money, they will not work with you.
Alejandro: Wow. That’s interesting. So, even if you have something that is very, you know [23:06], if you’re not able to show some money in there or some really good backing, it’s just tough to convince?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, exactly.
Alejandro: Wow. Talking about that, your capital is pretty impressive. You guys have people like SV Angel, Global Founders Capital, DST Global, Revit Capital on the institutional side. Then, also, I see angel investors like Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, the guys that did PayPal. How did you meet these people?
Henrique Dubugras: I think that through the first company we met some of them. Through the other ones, you’re being in Silicon Valley in your company. Investors want to meet you as much as you want to meet them. It’s like their job. Initially, I think I would say it was because we were running for Pagar.me. We met a lot of investors for that business. Then we already knew them when we got here. Some of them, we just met through our network here; one investor introducing another one. One founder introduces you to an investor, etc.
Alejandro: Got it. What were some of those best introductions? You were pointing to founders. Were introductions coming from founders?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah. I think meeting Yuri Milner; the ST guys was super important. I met the Greenoaks guys. YC we went through, so that was easy. But I think Peter Thiel was super helpful. Max Levchin was super, super helpful. Max, I had a funny story how I met him. I met him because Pedro and I applied for a job at a firm. We didn’t actually want the job but wanted to see how these Silicon Valley recruiting processes worked. In the end, the final interview was kind of with Max, and we met him.
Alejandro: Really cool. What did you learn from that recruiting process?
Henrique Dubugras: That so many companies don’t talk to freshmen students because they’re freshmen. A lot of companies just refused us from the top.
Alejandro: So, a lot of people are going, obviously, miss out on talented folks like you and Pedro?
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, exactly.
Alejandro: Yeah. I do agree with that. I think that, obviously, things are changing now, and they’re more about what your capable more than anything. You guys’ resume, before this, was impressive, regardless. Let me ask you this, Henrique, what was it like being a foreigner? I mean, I’ve done the fundraising too. It was painful. So, for you guys also being foreigners, what kind of hurdles did you encounter that you’re like, “Man, if it was a native guy or a local here from the area, probably I would not be dealing with this.”
Henrique Dubugras: I think a lot of people if you went to college with people, and then those people go to work in VC, or you have friends, you already have a network. We had some network, but all our network was Latin. By the way, when you Revit because Mickie, the founder is Venezuelan, and then you look Brazil. So, we kind of used that. We didn’t have a lot of problems because we speak good English, and we know the dialect, and we went to Stanford, but a lot of my friends that are foreigners, just like the English is such a big thing. If they can articulate really well in English, it’s just something that it seems simple and dumb, but a lot of my really, really talented Brazilian friends sometimes come here and can’t raise money, and that’s a big problem.
Alejandro: Obviously, having a Y Combinator or Stanford, it definitely helps.
Henrique Dubugras: It helps a lot.
Alejandro: I’m sure that, like you say, you must get a lot of friends from back home that are trying to do it, and eventually, they have to come to the U.S. because, for example, where I’m from, I’m from Spain where the funds are not big enough. Eventually, the company needs to come to the U.S. to continue growing, and it is just different dynamics. For the people that are coming here, what kind of advice do you give them, those friends of yours?
Henrique Dubugras: My advice is while you’re not raising, invest in getting better at English. Also, hire an American or someone with that background that can help you with the pitch and can help you with all of it, so someone that can help that because all this time we see like this proxy like if you don’t have a clear vision and a clear strategy, it’s hard to articulate that to your team, to investors, and to partners. Sometimes, you do have that. You just don’t articulate it well in English. That’s one. The other tip I have is try to find all the other people from the same country as you or similar countries. When we first got here, we just got introduced to Brazilians, and then Brazilians introduced us to a lot of people. So, we just came here while we were running Padar.me. We just emailed Brazilians. Okay, Brazilians. That’s a good thing. Then those Brazilians introduced us to a lot of good people, and we started building our network from that. So, you’re from Spain. You can email all the Spanish people. There’s a higher chance some of those will respond.
Alejandro: Yeah. That’s definitely a good tip there. As you were doing your different rounds of financing, you did your A. You did your B. You’re getting much better at really interfacing and having exchanges with investors. On your most recent round, for example, how are you able to know, “This is an investor that I want. If they don’t check those marks, there’s no way I want them on my team.” What would be those marks for you?
Henrique Dubugras: Basically, it’s more about meeting investors beforehand. So, all the investors we raised, we knew them for six months plus. We had been building relationships with them for a while. I think we wanted to see that during that time, even if we’re investing, have they been helpful or not? That’s the biggest thing for us is how helpful an investor is. We want people who have been helpful from day one, even before they were investors.
Alejandro: Yeah. Being helpful, what do you think makes the best and most helpful investor? Who are they? What do they do?
Henrique Dubugras: Honestly, there’s no such thing. There are people who help in different areas. Some people are good at giving you really, really solid introductions to really important people. Some people are good in operations, and basically, helping you through the day-to-day operational problems. Some people are really good industry experts. So, they’re in the industry. They know a lot about Fintech and payments. People can help you in multiple ways. You just need a broad base of them.
Alejandro: Got it. I understand that you guys have almost doubled your employees in the last year. Is that right?
Henrique Dubugras: Yes.
Alejandro: That’s pretty cool. How do you scale the team, and at the same time, you’re able to embrace culture?
Henrique Dubugras: I think that the important thing is the action. When you hire someone, and you fire someone, and you promote someone, you just make sure that people know why that’s happening, and what are the culture points that matter. One thing we do is every week we have culture points. That is like someone that we thought was very culturally aligned. We tell that to people every week in front of the entire company.
Alejandro: How many employees do you have now?
Henrique Dubugras: We have 115.
Alejandro: Wow. Really cool. I’m sure that there have been a lot of moments where you need to step back and learn about different aspects of the business before making informed decisions. For you, what have typically been those go-to resources that you knew they were not going to let you down?
Henrique Dubugras: I don’t understand the question, sir.
Alejandro: For example, when you had to make certain key decisions on the business, let’s say like on a strategic level, was that the board members that you have that you would go to? In addition, were there any other resources that you would take a look at before making a decision, or advisors, or how would you go about that?
Henrique Dubugras: I think that the way I would think about it. It is depending on what kind of decision, we have certain investors that are better at discussing them with us. That’s more what we did. There’s no one-stop-shop, I think, for advice, I would say.
Alejandro: In your experience, what do you think makes a board member effective?
Henrique Dubugras: I think the most important thing is being an advice person instead of a command person. Today, we want board members that give you, “This is my view, but I’ll support you in whatever you decide to do because you’re running the company.” I think the worst kind of board members are those that want to impose their views to you all the time.
Alejandro: Got it. Typically, when you run those board meetings, how do you make those happen, so that they are as productive as possible? What have you learned?
Henrique Dubugras: I think that the most important thing is telling the board what is an update, and just move forward with it, and what is something you actually want to discuss and go deep into? Because otherwise, in a board meeting you might go deep into the things that the investors are most interested about and what you are most interested about getting out of the board meeting.
Alejandro: It’s really interesting that we’re talking about this because yesterday I was speaking with a founder that was a little not familiar with the board number in terms of members. How, in your case, has the number of board members matured or increased as the company was raising more financing?
Henrique Dubugras: We added one more member for the Series A. Two board members for the Series B, and then we added two board observers for the Series C.
Alejandro: Do you think in your experience, from what you’ve seen as well, a board observer typically has the same level of influence than let’s say a normal board member?
Henrique Dubugras: In our experience, yes. But I don’t know if that’s your private company.
Alejandro: Right. Because I’ve heard a lot of people say that at the end of the day, “Look, they may not be voting, but they’re also part of the cause, and they can still speak with people, they’re educated enough.
Henrique Dubugras: Yeah, that’s been more of our experience.
Alejandro: Cool. There is a question here, Henrique, that I always ask the guests that we have on this show, and that is if you could go to the past and give yourself advice before launching a business, what would that be? One piece of advice.
Henrique Dubugras: Do whatever it takes to get the best people. Don’t let good people pass because of comp or anything. Just be flexible, and get the best people in.
Alejandro: Really cool. Henrique, what is the best way for folks that are listening to reach out and say “Hi”?
Henrique Dubugras: Just reach out to Brex, and someone will, if it makes sense as to me, or talk about it, they’ll get it done.
Alejandro: Fantastic. Henrique, thank you so much for being on the show today.
Henrique Dubugras: Thank you so much for having me.