Brex CEO tries to raise over $1 billion in a weekend for SVB-linked bridge loans

Brex CEO tries to raise over $1 billion in a weekend for SVB-linked bridge loans

Brex CEO tries to raise over $1 billion in a weekend for SVB-linked bridge loans

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras is currently working to raise more than $1 billion in one weekend to help fund an emergency bridging line of credit that it says will help start-up clients affected by the Silicon Valley Bank collapse to power pay next week. Dubugras declined to comment on the amount of capital committed for the line of credit so far, but said he was online to try to lock in the funds.


“We are working with many lenders this weekend, to raise as much money as we can afford,” Dubugras said. So far, more than $1.3 billion in payday loan applications have been made by more than 500 applicants. “The same people asking for the billion dollars have about 10 billion in aggregate deposits (at SVB).

The founder claims that demand increases every five minutes. And while Dubugras said the final closing was “to be determined”, he said it was “very likely” that they will close some of the capital.

One question is will the terms of the deal be favorable to the founders or, as one entrepreneur ominously suggested to me today, will the sharks come out?

Brex is not disclosing the terms of the deal, but said they don’t make any money on those loans. “That’s where we work to find the right rate, but think of it this way: there’s not a lot of information right now and finding over a billion dollars in a weekend, it’s no small feat,” Dubugras said. “So you know, I think we’re just trying to see if we can find something that works for everyone and create an option.”

Another question concerns the quality of the candidates. As one founder told TechCrunch yesterday, onboarding an influx of people “is the easiest way to invite fraud and get kicked out of banking ecosystems.” Dubugras said the quality of SVB’s clientele is “pretty good”.

“Most of the clients we get are real startups that had real companies with real deposits — and they connect the data to their SVB account that had real money in it,” he said. “We verify that these customers are real customers for sure – that’s not what worries me.”

“I hope the lesson for the industry isn’t, hey, if it’s a bank that’s not JP Morgan, it’s dangerous. I think it will be terrible for our ecosystem and for America,” he added. Instead, the lesson, Dubugras thinks, is that founders spread their risk. “I think the safest place in my opinion for your money is not a bank account, it’s in a money market fund and a cash management account, that’s why we do this at Brex .”

While Dubugras is focused on collecting and says Brex is operationally ready for it and not trying to make money from desperate founders, the company will have to prove that it can achieve this.

When SVB fell, Brex was seen as a formidable competitor looking to profit from the transfer of funds. Indeed, sources tell TechCrunch that the fintech was receiving billions of dollars in deposits. Then SVB shut down the wires, and a few hours later was seized by the FDIC.

“The reason we do it is obviously we want to support a community, that’s very important,” Dubugras said. “The business reason we’re doing this is that we’ll be funding these loans and our business accounts, and we’re hoping people will stay our customers right after that.”

Dubugras isn’t the only tech executive rallying others to help provide founder loans. Another CEO is working to raise money for an emergency fund for climate-specific startups, while others are looking for ways to create funding streams for historically overlooked and marginalized groups of founders.

If you have any juicy advice or a lead on the events of the fall of the SVB, you can contact Natasha Mascarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Requests for anonymity will be respected.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button