Brex Empower's global launch will "level the playing field" says product chief
Following its mission to support customers globally, Brex has expanded to support US companies with overseas employees in more than 100 countries.
After making the big move into offering financial services for US-based companies, the company has now expanded to cater for US companies with employees in more than 100 countries across card, spend management and reimbursements.
Chief product officer Karandeep Anand told AltFi about how the decacorn’s step into financial services with Empower is an evolution of its mission to help businesses scale and move fast.
“What Brex is doing with this credit card offering essentially, is a way to very quickly unlock the ability to spend money and move the business forward,” he said.
“What we're building with Empower is essentially a fresh look at how financial tools in a company should be deployed, so that the company can still keep going fast,” he added.
“Because the need for speed and that constant need to remain competitive and make sure your money is being spent the right way is an inherent need, no matter what the size of the company is.”
Having only launched Empower a month ago, the company brought its timeline forward to match customer demand, though the goal was always to take the product global.
“Companies that are born with Brex are growing and we need to make sure we keep evolving ourselves to keep serving their needs,” Anand said.
Anand revealed that sometime later this year we should also expect to see the service expanded even further, coming to non-US companies based globally, in addition to those based in the US.
“Our goal has always been to serve customers globally,” he said.
“At our very core DNA we want to level the playing field, we want to simplify the system for everyone, it just so happens that our roots were in the US so that’s where we started, but there’s nothing that stops us from going global fully.”
New partnerships: from DoorDash to Deel
After partnering with DoorDash last month, the company is now teaming up with global payroll and compliance provider Deel.
The company will also be one of the first to use the global capabilities of Empower to more than 7500 customers in more than 150 customers.
Integrating Deel into the Brex Empower platform, the company will support international payroll, benefits, taxes and compliances.
“We chose to partner with Brex — as well as to use them for our own business — because of their commitment to global companies,” Deel CEO Alex Bouaziz said.
“We love how they’re building their platform to make it easy for companies to hire internationally, spend globally, and operate faster everywhere.”
There are four main features Brex are introducing with the expansion of its financial services to a global market, all of which fall under the aim of making operations for businesses faster and easier, across countries and currencies.
The first is global reimbursements turned around in two days or less with employees reimbursed in their local currency.
The second is the ability for employees worldwide to use a Brex card, both physically and digitally, and for finance teams to be able to see transactions in the currency they were made and the exchange rate used.
In a post-pandemic world where there has been a notable shift towards work from home, more and more companies have found themselves to looking to talent worldwide, and Brex is no exception.
With employees in Brazil, Canada and Israel in addition to its base in the US, and operating as a remote company, Brex is broadening its services to cater for an increasingly hybrid work force worldwide.
“The work from home and remote work has definitely accelerated the need to have the ability to have more and more global employees,” Anand said.
He gave the example of the difficulties employees might face in trying to get their work from home setup organised, whether that’s buying equipment or making company purchases.
“That's where a global card programme and reimbursements become very, very necessary to make sure the workforce is productive. It's definitely fueled by the dynamic shift to global work,” he added.
Continuing with its need for speed, Brex will be adding even more new features this year, including expanding Empower to internationally based companies.
It will also enable companies to manage local subsidiaries on Brex with card statements and collections in local currency, and the option to pay those from both domestic and international bank accounts.