CEO works to fund more than $1 billion in loans for startups

  • Brex CEO Henrique Dubugras raises more than $1 billion in loans for startups hit by SVB collapse.
  • Dubugras intends to start lending as early as next week so companies can pay their salaries.
  • “We’re trying to raise as much capital as we can,” a Brex spokesman told Insider.

Henrique Dubugras, CEO of fintech firm Brex, is working to raise more than $1 billion in funds to provide bridging loans for startups hit by the Silicon Valley bank collapse.

“As of yesterday, we’ve received $1.5 billion in inquiries from nearly 1,000 companies,” a Brex spokesperson told Insider. “We’re trying to raise as much capital as possible.”

The spokesman told Insider the funds are intended to help startups with payroll next week and stay afloat while their money is tied up. Dubugras joins several other tech leaders who led fundraisers this weekend — including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who reportedly handed over six-figure donations to Rad AI’s CEO — after the Silicon Valley bank was shut down by regulators on Friday.

“We are rapidly working with third-party funders and Brex Asset Management to make emergency funds available to start-ups early next week,” the spokesman said.

According to TechCrunch, Brex has not disclosed the terms of the loans or the funds raised so far. But Dubugras told the outlet he hoped all customers taking out loans would stick with Brex after the dust settles.

“The reason we’re doing this is obviously because we want to support a community, that’s very important,” Dubugras told TechCrunch. “The business reason we’re doing this is because we’re funding these loans and our business accounts, and we’re hoping that right after that people will remain our customers.”

One of the main issues of the plan is fraud and screening of the companies that applied for bridging loans. In a statement to Insider, Brex’s spokesperson said the company has a strong evaluation process, while Dubugras told TechCrunch most inquiries appear to come from “real startups that had real deals with real deposits.”

“[T]Verification processes are in place here to ensure there is no fraud,” a spokesman told Insider.

“Talk about a day I will remember for the rest of my life,” Dubugras tweeted Saturday.

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