Startups Simplified: An In-Depth Analysis of Brex vs. Ramp

Startups Simplified: An In-Depth Analysis of Brex vs. Ramp

Brex vs. Ramp: Comprehensive Comparison for Startup Founders

For startup founders, selecting the right corporate card is an essential aspect of managing finances and ensuring business growth. With Brex and Ramp emerging as popular choices, it is crucial to understand their offerings and how they cater to the distinctive needs of startups. This article delves into the core principles, evolution, and distinguishing features of Brex and Ramp, helping you make an informed decision for your startup’s financial success.

The Origins of Brex and Ramp: A Tale of Two Cards

When Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi established Brex in 2017, their primary goal was to resolve the challenges startups faced in obtaining corporate cards due to insufficient credit histories. By assessing startups based on funding and bank balances, Brex provided a feasible solution for startups to access credit without undergoing traditional credit checks. Since its inception, Brex has broadened its services to encompass banking features like factoring, lending, deposits, and ACH.

Ramp, founded in 2019 by Eric Glyman, Karim Atiyeh, and Gene Lee, took cues from Brex but implemented strategic alterations to create a unique identity. Ramp’s focus lies in delivering exceptional customer service, a user-friendly interface, and additional features such as vendor management. Unlike Brex’s shift towards a full financial institution, Ramp maintains its focus on providing startups with tailored expense management solutions.

Funding and Market Presence

Both Brex and Ramp have successfully raised substantial amounts of venture capital, reflecting their strong market presence and growth potential. Brex has expanded its services to encompass more banking features as it aspires to enter the banking sector. However, this expansion led Brex to discontinue serving smaller startups, limiting its eligibility primarily to larger, venture-backed companies.

Ramp, in contrast, continues to cater to startups and has even acquired a negotiation-as-a-service brand called Buyer. By maintaining its focus on expense management and adjacent areas, Ramp has been able to differentiate itself from Brex and cater to a wider range of startups.

A Closer Look: Key Features of Brex and Ramp

While Brex and Ramp both cater to startups with corporate cards that include generous spending limits and no personal guarantees, their differences in features can influence the choice between the two.

Mobile Expense Reporting

Brex and Ramp ensure user-friendly mobile expense reporting options, with Brex offering a dedicated app and Ramp allowing users to report expenses via email and text. The ease of use for both options ensures that startup employees can adapt quickly to their preferred method of mobile expense reporting.

Rewards and Pricing

Brex Premium comes with a monthly fee of $49, while Ramp offers its services for free. Brex provides exclusive partner perks and higher reward points in select categories. In contrast, Ramp simplifies its rewards with a flat 1.5% cashback on all transactions.

Expense Management

Brex enables automatic transaction imports to Expensify, while Ramp handles expense reports internally, removing the need for Expensify. This distinction can play a significant role in simplifying expense management for startups, depending on their preferred method of handling expenses.

Customer Support and Signup

Both companies offer streamlined signup processes but differ in their support channels. Ramp provides support exclusively through email, while Brex offers phone, email, and chat support. The decision between the two may depend on the level of responsiveness and support options a startup requires in managing its corporate card.

Expense Card Access

Virtual cards are available from both Brex and Ramp, in addition to their physical cards, facilitating various types of purchases. Neither card lets companies carry a balance, and their spending limits are decided by the company’s bank account balance.

Business Banking Solutions

While Ramp focuses on providing card and spending controls, they have also introduced some bill payment features. Brex, however, offers a more comprehensive suite of financial services, including ACH, wire, bill, and check pay capabilities. Although Brex is not a bank, it partners with FDIC-insured banks to store uninvested cash deposits, positioning itself as an all-in-one company finance account.

Integration Capabilities

Both Brex and Ramp seamlessly integrate with popular accounting tools like Netsuite and Quickbooks. This compatibility ensures a smooth flow of financial data, reducing the manual effort and time spent on bookkeeping tasks.

The Ideal Choice: Brex vs Ramp

Choosing between Brex and Ramp ultimately depends on a startup’s specific requirements and how the card will be utilized. Ramp’s focus on vendor management and sophisticated spending controls make it a suitable option for startups requiring a card primarily for expense management. Brex, with its more extensive array of financial services, can serve as a comprehensive solution for startups seeking an all-in-one financial platform.

In general, startups that require a full banking solution should opt for Brex, while those looking primarily for a corporate card may find Ramp more suitable. However, eligibility for Brex must also be considered, as it caters mainly to larger, venture-backed startups.

Complementing Corporate Cards with SaaS Management Platforms

Alongside choosing the right corporate card, managing SaaS-related expenses is a growing concern for many startups. Quolum, the globe’s first full-stack SaaS buying platform, meets this need through the provision of a variety of services, such as expense cards limited to digital purchases, negotiating contracts according to pricing data and consumption, and tracking unused seats across more than 5,000 applications.

A report published by Wall Street Journal says one in five finance departments is looking to invest in more corporate cards in the coming years. Startups that combine the appropriate corporate card solution with a SaaS management platform like Quolum can ensure a well-rounded approach to managing their expenses and fostering growth.


Choosing between Brex and Ramp requires a thorough understanding of each company’s offerings and how they align with a startup’s specific needs. By evaluating their features, pricing, rewards, and overall value proposition, startup founders can make an informed decision and select the most suitable corporate card for their business.

Additionally, incorporating specialized SaaS management platforms like Quolum can help optimize startup expenses and drive growth. With the right combination of corporate card and expense management tools, startup founders can effectively manage their finances and pave the steps for their business’s success.

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