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A hot startup has covered San Francisco with billboards. Here’s why the CEO says the ads are worth every penny

Tech Insider logo Tech Insider 8/20/2018 (Business Insider)
a person holding a sign: Pedro Franceschi (left) and Henrique Dubugras are the co-founders of Brex. © Brex Pedro Franceschi (left) and Henrique Dubugras are the co-founders of Brex.

a man standing in front of a building: brex credit cards for startups 3 © Provided by Business Insider Inc brex credit cards for startups 3 Brex

  • San Francisco is covered with billboards for Brex, a startup that provides corporate credit cards to startups. 
  • Plenty of startups find opportunities to brag about spending so little money on marketing, but Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras says the ads were worth every penny.
  • Brex, which has raised a total of $57 million in funding from Peter Thiel and Y Combinator, spent only $300,000 on the ads plastered on bus stops, buildings, and billboards.

In San Francisco, there are few places to escape them.

Jet-black billboards advertising Brex, a startup that offers the first corporate card for startups, loom over the streets and sidewalks. 

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When you realize you are living in an alternative dimension, not the real US. Bus stop ad in SF on way to #GoogleNext18. Brex, the card for when you don’t know if or when you will get your next funding round.

The startup appears to have gone all-in on marketing, with posters on bus stops, sides of buildings, and billboards concentrated in the South of Market neighborhood, which is home to many startups.

In a Thursday night fireside chat with Business Insider and Brex cofounder and CEO Henrique Dubugras, a member of the audience asked Dubugras to explain his thinking behind "taking over San Francisco" with billboards and reveal how much the campaign cost. ...

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