- Henrique Dubugras, 23; Pedro Franceschi, 22
Brazillian entrepreneurs Henrique Dubugras, 23, and Pedro Franceschi, 22--who now live in San Francisco--know all too well how difficult it is to get access to a credit card in the U.S. without any credit history. After selling their first business, a fintech company called Pagar.me, for an undisclosed sum in 2016, they secured a spot in Y Combinator's 2017 winter class with an idea to launch a virtual reality company. But their difficulty getting a credit card in the U.S., without any prior U.S. credit history, proved more than just annoying, it became their next business idea.
Now the pair run Brex, which provides U.S.-based entrepreneurs who have limited to no credit history with no-interest corporate charge cards. Brex offers corporate cards via a new underwriting process the founders invented, which tracks a company's fundraising history, its cash balance, and spending patterns instead of the founder's individual or business credit history. It makes money through transaction fees and charging $5 per person per month after five users sign on. With more than 3,000 customers, Brex is now valued at more than $1 billion. -- Guadalupe Gonzalez