If you tuned in to an American Express Company investor call six years ago, you heard about a vintage brand dramatically cutting costs to help profits. Now, strong growth with younger generations and a significant lead over competitors in the small and medium-sized enterprise card market have Amex predicting double-digit revenue growth for the foreseeable future. Investors are thrilled. 

But what about those other investors piling millions into startups specifically to take on Amex, like Brex ($12.3 billion valuation as of January) and Ramp ($8.1 billion valuation as of March 21)?

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