Brex adds bitcoin, ether rewards and is looking to gain crypto exposure

Quick TakeBrex will allow its customers to redeem rewards points in either bitcoin or etherThe fintech firm is also eyeing exposure to cryptocurrency for itselfBrex, the San Francisco-based fintech firm, which was recently valued at $7.4 billion, has expanded into the cryptocurrency sector through the launch of a crypto rewards program.The Brex platform helps businesses to manage their financial products — like corporate credit cards and expense management systems — in one place. Previously, customers such as Airbnb and Carta were able to earn rewards points on Brex and the companies could redeem them for flight miles, cash or travel.“And now instead of redeeming them for cashback or miles you can also redeem them in crypto, in bitcoin and [ether], and we’re really excited about it,” Henrique Dubugras, Brex’s co-founder and co-CEO, told The Block.“A lot of businesses have all these unredeemed points that just stay there doing nothing forever. So instead of having them in points, have them in crypto, a possibly appreciating asset,” he added.Brex’s rewards partner Travelbank will support the new crypto functionality. Travelbank itself has a partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase, which will provide the wallets needed to store, hold or exchange any crypto accrued by Brex’s customers.Brex may put crypto on its balance sheetMore than the recent crypto bull run, the acceleration in corporate adoption of bitcoin as a treasury asset persuaded Brex to take the plunge into the sector. Companies such as Square, Tesla and MicroStrategy have been at the vanguard of this movement.“We were always personally big believers in crypto but we didn’t know when crypto would cross to the business world. And I think when big corporations like Square and Tesla started buying crypto on their balance sheet is when we said, ‘ok, this is now getting into our world and it’s time to make a move,’” said Dubugras.Asked whether Brex itself holds any exposure to cryptocurrency, Dubugras told The Block, “Not yet, but coming soon.”“We’re still figuring out our options but it’s something we’re definitely considering,” he added. A spokesperson would not elaborate further on Brex’s plans to acquire crypto exposure.Brex came out of the Y Combinator accelerator program in 2017 and has since grown to employ more than 600 people. The startup raised $425 million at a $7.4 billion post-money valuation in a Series D round led by Tiger Global in late April. Other investors in the business include Durable Capital Partners, Dragoneer Investment Group, GIC and Ribbit Capital.


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