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For decades, corporate credit cards were a boring industry, dominated by money-colored AmExes, the default choice for power lunches and client dinners around the world.

Now, a fleet of richly funded startups wants to change that. Venture capitalists and other investors have poured big money into a growing group of companies that make credit cards for businesses. That includes more than $1 billion in funding and debt for just three startups: Ramp, Divvy, and three-year-old Brex Inc., which was valued last summer at an eye-watering $2.6 billion, according to PitchBook data.

The fresh interest in the industry comes as American Express Co.—the undisputed leader in the market—revamps its corporate card portfolio, raising the fees on its cards this week after adding benefits for Uber rides and Hilton stays. Accenture estimates that overall spending on business credit cards in the United States will climb to $1.1 trillion in 2024, from $625 billion in 2019.

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