Organoboron reagents are important synthetic intermediates that have a key role in the construction of natural products, pharmaceuticals and organic materials(1). The discovery of simpler, milder and more efficient approaches to organoborons can open additional routes to diverse substances(2-5). Here we show a general method for the directed C-H borylation of arenes and heteroarenes without the use of metal catalysts. C7- and C4-borylated indoles are produced by a mild approach that is compatible with a broad range of functional groups. The mechanism, which is established by density functional theory calculations, involves BBr3 acting as both a reagent and a catalyst. The potential utility of this strategy is highlighted by the downstream transformation of the formed boron species into natural products and drug scaffolds.