No wonder fintech startups The Y Combinator W22 package was well presented, with 35 international companies participating, with 25 others flagged as crypto-focused. One trend we observed was that at least four startups – three from different regions – called themselves “BRAKES” due to their specific geography.
For those not in the know, Brex is a corporate spending company that recently crashed when it raised $300 million at a $12.3 billion valuation. Brex began life by focusing primarily on providing corporate cards targeted at startups and small and medium businesses. He gradually developed his model to serve as a one-stop source of funding for these companies.
He competes in a hot and increasingly crowded space that also includes ramps, airbases and TripAction. Notably, the company was founded by two Brazilian-born former teen hackers who were just 22 years old when Brex was valued at more than $1 billion.
Brex’s success was repeated by some of its competitors. Since its launch, Calamity has increased its spending significantly, which has also attracted huge sums of money. Airbase took a slightly different approach to the space, focusing on SaaS rather than transaction revenue, while TripActions shifted its focus from the original alliance in the corporate travel market to corporate spending. Meanwhile, Pluto recently raised funds for what will become a “Middle East disaster.”
The US market can support so many competing startups that it gives an idea of the size of the market. Other countries and regions may be similar, and startups are taking note, and some people around the world are looking to join the corporate spending race: