How two students who dropped out of college made a fortune of $ 860 million at age 23

NEW DELHI: They did not complete a single year of university, but Henrique dubugras , 23, and Pedro Franceschi , 22, have already accumulated a veteran part of the Silicon Valley experience. Now they have the net worth to match.

They are the founders and senior executives of Brex Inc , a startup fintech recently valued at $ 2.6 billion, with an unlikely origin history. Dubugras was only 14 years old when he created his first company, the maker of an online videogame, and closed it after receiving notices for patent infringement. Shortly thereafter, he joined Franceschi for another company: the payment processor Pagar.me, which grew to 150 employees before they sold it in 2016. The couple enrolled at Stanford University, but failed to make it through the first year before to abandon their studies. to found brex.

Brex, which launched its first product last year, has become a favorite of the fintech, catapulting its founders into the ranks of the richest entrepreneurs, at least on paper. Today, their shares in the company are worth approximately $ 430 million each, according to an analysis by EquityZen, a market for the shares of technology firms that have not yet been made public.

The pair's rise is fast even by Silicon Valley standards, where leaving Stanford to launch a startup is almost a cliché. Brex, founded two years ago, has become one of the fastest US companies to achieve a multi-billion dollar valuation, joining the ranks of startups such as Uber Technologies Inc and Scoic Unicorns Lime and Bird Rides Inc.

In 2017, Brex was valued at $ 25 million, according to data from PitchBook. Its latest funding round pegged its valuation at more than $ 2 billion. The company's key product is a credit card for startups and their employees that relies on real-time data, rather than traditional credit scores. One of the drivers of Brex 's towering valuation, its founders have said, is its potential to expand into other businesses.

The firm has also recently introduced credit cards for e-commerce and life-sciences companies. In addition to cards for startups, Brex has said it plans to cater for larger firms, offering cards with tailored rewards as well as expense management.

Brex declined to comment for this story. Dubugras had said that Brex 's new e-commerce business accounts for about one-third of its revenue.

Another fintech wunderkind, Max Levchin, who at 23 co-founded a company that would eventually become PayPal Holdings Inc, is an investor in Brex. So is Peter Thiel, also a PayPal co-founder, as well as the Kleiner Perkins Digital Growth Fund and Ribbit Capital.

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