Mere weeks after rival corporate spend startup Ramp announced that it raised a two-part round worth $115 million at a $1.6 billion valuation, this morning Brex disclosed a $425 million Series D led by Tiger Global.
The new capital marks Brex’s largest fundraise to date, and was compiled at a valuation that is more than double its most recent private valuation. According to Crunchbase data, Brex’s mid-2020 Series C valued the company at just over $3.0 billion, including the investment’s $150 million in issued equity.
The dueling rounds raised by Brex and Ramp underscore how active their product category is proving to be. Far from its roots in merely offering perk-laden corporate cards to growing companies, Brex and its myriad rivals — including Utah unicorn Divvy, Airbase, and others — are building software suites around their core plastic efforts to help companies manage all elements of their spending.
A growing rift is showing in how, compared to some rivals, the categories’ largest players, including Brex, Divvy and Ramp, forgo charging for their software, content to eat off other revenue sources including interchange. Airbase, in contrast, charges for its software.
Don’t expect the software arms race between corporate spend startups’ unicorns to lead to more corporate spend startups deriving software revenues in addition to their current income sources; each is growing their spend rapidly enough to warrant more time with their foot on the customer growth pedal over working to juice more per-customer revenue in the short-term.
Ramp, for example, disclosed that it is nearly on a $1 billion spend-managed run rate. Brex, worth a multiple of the younger startup, is presumably above that mark.
TechCrunch reached out to Brex, curious about its 2020 and Q1 2021 growth results. The company provided a statement to TechCrunch, claiming that it is “onboarding thousands of new tech and non-tech customers every month.” Brex also said that it grew its “total customer” figure by 80% in the first quarter, “with total monthly customer additions increasing by 5x.”
That’s precisely the sort of growth that makes late-stage investors excited. TechCrunch is speaking with Brex CEO shortly; more after that call.