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10 Things you Didn't Know about David Barrett

David Barrett

David Barrett is an American entrepreneur and a businessman. He is the founder and the current CEO of Expensify, Barrett's life is an interesting one with a lot to learn from from the founder. He has received several awards and recognitions in different categories. Read on to know things you didn't know about him.

1. Barrett discovered his talent at an early age

Barrett is an American who was born and grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. He was talented and discovered his potential at an early age. At the age of 6, he noticed he could program; unlike his age mates, he was driven by passion and kept practicing and perfecting it. With access and interaction to computers, his interests grew in programming, and later, he pursued it in school.

2. A programmer at the age of 6

Barrett started programming at an early stage ( 6 years old). It all began when he watched his brother type games from a magazine into a trusty Vic-20. He was one of those antisocial kids mainly because he lived on a farm and was far from the little friends. As a child, he would have his free time, and while he was on summer vacation on Lake Michigan, he would take up his notebook and plan on what to code next. His imagination took the better part of him, and since then, great things have come from him, and the best part was his company Expensify.

3. A non-extravangant person

Barrett enjoys traveling, refreshing his mind after working, and feeling like he has stayed in one place for a long time. He loves places where he would go and have a decent conversation without interruptions, cool and quiet places, and not so expensive. This way, they can cut costs, and in most places, he would learn something new. Barrett is a wine lover; he not only enjoys it but also is an oenophile in it.

4. A young employee

Everyone starts from somewhere to gain experience, and for Barrett, it was no different. He started building his career at an early age. He worked in a virtual reality laboratory on campus while in school. Still, after he graduated, he later moved to Texas, where he started working in the video game industry. He also assisted in developing 3D graphic engines.

5. Barrett's first company

His success did not come that easy. He worked hard to achieve everything he has today. He worked and waited patiently to get to his dream. He worked at RED swoosh, where he created the file transfer technology where he co-founded it with Travis Kalanick; however, in 2008, they sold the company to Akamai Technologies. He later started working on his ideas which he thought might not have worked, but to his surprise, his business has been of help to many who sought such kinds of services. However, according to, in an interview, Barrett’s explains how the journey of his success has been, it wasn't easy to start his own company from scratch he had fears of how the market would see his product, but he had to start and face the rest along the journey. The organization rejected his idea, but this didn't make him stop; he kept going on and on until he achieved his goals. According to, Barretts journey Expensify was also a challenge.

6. David Barrett Campaigns for Biden

According to, people first saw Barrett's stand on political matters on 22nd October 2020 during the presidential elections between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Ten million Expensify customers received a message from the CEO (David Barrett), the message urged them to vote for Biden. The message stated that if one is a U.S. citizen and does not vote for Biden, he or she is voting against democracy. Due to his stand, Barrett went on to state that he received death threats. He defended himself on the action he took as a personal position to which he clearly stated that he is not ok with the current administration and it's not good for business. On another instance, on 18th January 2021, Martin L. King Barrett sent an email to his customers. He pledged to donate 3 million dollars to fight “systemic injustices' ' and reduce the gender pay gap. He claimed for every dollar paid to his employees; he would have them donate 25 to charity. Barrett also supported and even went to court to encourage legal immigration.

7. CEO and founder of Expensify

In 2008 Barrett founded Expensify, he was inspired to start the company while he was walking on the street and saw homeless people, and he thought of how to help them without giving them money directly. His idea came from there, and he started to work on it. The journey was not easy. He faced challenges as his idea was rejected when he approached the bank. However, he did not give up. He changed the concept to get the funding, and that's how Expensify came into the picture. Nonetheless, he did not throw away the idea of helping the unhoused people on the street. The company has ever since has grown into a multi-million company whereby its net worth is increasing every day. According to, Expensify announced to have made over $100 million in 2020. The company has done well ever since it was founded.

8. Barrett’s Kindness

After leaving Red Swoosh, Barrett began to help homeless individuals in his neighborhood. He had an idea of helping them without giving them cash. He, therefore, developed a debit card system where donors could give to homeless persons. To his discouragement, banks found no interest in his project. David did not give up but instead expanded his idea when he changed the idea into a prepaid debit card system.

9. Barrett’s sense of humor

David Barret is not very active in his social media life. However, he has a great sense of humor, and he can be tagged as a bold man both business-wise and as a man on his own. His company details that explain expenses to “suck.” He has also been very defensive on matters concerning his company. One instance is when he defended an ad on his company that bragged about how it fires people. The company so far has laid down 20 of its employees since 2008. One other famous scandal that he was involved in is when he sent an email to 10 million of his customers urging them to vote for Joe Biden and not Donald Trump. This readied a lot of discussions on the role of Tech-based companies in the political pyramid. Barrett's sense of humor is clearly brought out when we see him on media pleading to Silicon Valley members not to call his company a “Cockroach” due to its startup position. This raised discussions on name-calling in the Valley. He, later on, stated that he prefers being a cockroach since they are indestructible, though small and ugly.

10. David Barrett’s recognitions and awards.

Barrett is a connoisseur when it comes to computers. He has done remarkable work that has gained him various recognitions and awards; in 2014, he merged to be among the top ten free mobile apps. In 2015, he received the Tabby award, and the same year he was recognized in the Top 10 most innovative companies in the World. And all this motivated him to keep aiming high, and as a result, in 2018, he was awarded the Tabby award again. In the same year, he received the Reader Choice Award-Expense and travel management solution. These awards and recognitions have influenced him in working hard, he has shown how compassionate we should be to others who need our help, and we should not give up on them. It requires time and patience to grow.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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