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Raise your hand if you’ve been revenue-generating or profitable for 2–3 years? No one? That’s what we figured. Problem is, that’s the first question you’ll be asked when applying for a business credit card.
A forward-thinking banker might try to make things work by using those dreaded words: “We can use your personal credit score.” Not only does this not work for a lot of folks (if you grew up low income, are fresh out of college, not American, etc.), it’s painful even if you can use that route because any business mishaps can decimate your personal credit.
At Forum Ventures, we’ve backed over 150 B2B SaaS companies around the world, and we’ve seen what it takes for a startup to grow from zero to one. The pain points we see most frequently plaguing pre-seed companies? Access to customers and access to our program. Although our program is built to support founders in both arenas with countless introductions and an upfront investment, there are some pains that only third-party providers can solve. Credit is one of them — and Brex quickly became our partner of choice.
You will need credit soon if you don’t already
At some point early on in your founder journey, you’ll need to make a big purchase: money to attend an important conference, buying a new SaaS subscription, or simply short-term credit to cover payroll because yet another client was late on their invoice. These are all normal problems to have, but when you don’t have credit these common problems can kill the business.
So what do most founders do? Instead of immediately opening a corporate card, you spend your own money and plan to reimburse yourself. But things happen. You forget to reimburse. You lose a receipt. You have to manually track down that e-transfer from your business bank account to your personal account so you can file your taxes properly. It’s an administrative nightmare.
This happens constantly and Forum Ventures alumni, Motivote — a platform that encourages and helps people plan civic participation in elections — was no exception.
Motivote needed more from their banking and Brex delivered
Early on, Co-founder and CEO of Motivote, Jess Riegel, was lucky enough to be in a position where she could handle the company’s expenses with her or her co-founder’s personal money. The company would then reimburse them.
But then the Motivote team grew a little, going from two co-founders to a full team and so came the necessity of budget forecasting. Things got messy and the founders’ personal accounts couldn’t cover the bigger expenses, plus the mental effort necessary to track everything got out of hand.
During their weekly one-on-one with the Forum Ventures team, Motivote expressed their concerns. They were working on multiple nearly closed-won deals with big name clients like Hillel and Everyday Democracy, but their cash reserves weren’t cutting it in the interim. We suggested Brex.
Jess loved Brex’s expense management, virtual card, and rewards features
In the midst of a number of fast-paced sales cycles, Jess signed on with Brex. Before, she’d travel to San Francisco for a conference and pay with her personal card and because she and the team got busy, she wouldn’t process her own reimbursement for upwards of three months. After signing up for Brex, Jess noticed how clean and sleek the Brex cash flow dashboard is. It was easy to see the money they’d spend on things like travel, where before it was a murky mix of personal and business finances. Further, since she was able to put all future expenses on her Brex card, not her personal, there was no waiting for reimbursements — the money came directly from the company account.
Using Brex’s virtual card, Jess set up all of the company’s ongoing subscriptions with complete expense visibility in the Brex dashboard. With their previous mix of personal and business accounts, Jess had to create a custom how-to page with 5–10 steps to access certain reports in her online banking dashboard. Now, with Brex, various Motivote team members can login and see it all on one screen.
Admittedly, the team didn’t think about rewards initially. But since Brex is built to provide rewards that are relevant for startups, Jess and the team now get multiplied benefits for regular expenses like paying for Ubers, traveling for conferences, or paying for recurring subscriptions.
Focus on running your business, not checking your credit
Credit, where credit is due. With the 2020 elections afoot, thanks to Brex on their side, Jess and the Motivote team are now laser-focused on driving the largest voter turnout in history.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. We know that. You know that. Your job as a founder is not to manage all the nit-picky things, but to do what’s necessary for your business. We’ve teamed up with Brex to eliminate the credit worry from your minds.
Apply for Brex and get the credit you need — without the traditional banking hassle — so you can focus on your business, not on whether you’ll have the credit to expand.