Esusu, the fintech startup building users credit via rent reporting and data solutions, has raised $10 million in Series A funding to fuel its growth despite the pandemic.
The funding round was led by Motley Fool Ventures, joined by businesswoman, and philanthropist Serena Williams, through Serena Ventures, along with The Equity Alliance, Predictive VC, and notably angel investors. Existing investors Concrete Rose Capital, Impact America Fund, Global Impact Fund, Next Play Ventures, and Zeal Capital Partners also participated, bringing Esusu’s total funding raised to $14 million to date.
According to Ollen Douglass, Managing Director of Motley Fool Ventures, “Esusu is an excellent example of an innovative fintech company leveraging technology to deliver scalable and much-needed financial solutions for underserved populations. From reliable rent reporting to zero-interest housing stability funds, their inclusive credit–building offerings can unlock access to credit for low-to-medium income households across the country.”
This is not Esusu’s first funding round. In August 2020, Esusu raised $2.3 million in seed extension for US expansion bringing total capital raised to $4 million after it’s 2019 $1.6 million raise led by Acumen Fund.
Over the past year, Esusu reports to have experienced monumental growth spurred by industry adoption, regulatory tailwinds, and partnerships with the largest property owners and operators in the country.
“At Esusu, our fundamental belief is that where you come from, the color of your skin, or your financial identity shouldn’t determine where you end up in life,” said Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel, Co-CEOs of Esusu. “This Series A financing enables Esusu to double down on growth through product innovation, top talent recruitment, and building the most comprehensive financial health platform in the market for low to medium-income families.”
Esusu is not building for a non-exisitent market as over 45 million Americans do not have credit scores. Esusu’s rent reporting capabilities solve for this by capturing and reporting rental payments to the largest credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. This allows renters to establish and build credit while helping property owners increase net operating income, lower evictions, and fill more vacancies. Esusu also provides zero-interest Housing Stability Fund to help renters facing financial hardship avoid eviction.
“Esusu is really focused on credit building and creating pathways to financial inclusion for not only working families but for individuals as well,” said Serena Williams, Founder of Serena Ventures. “Their services also make rent reporting seamless – finally giving renters credit for what often is their largest expense every month. Last year, of course, was the COVID-19 pandemic. It created an unemployment and housing crisis that left many renters struggling to make their rental payments on time, and they were often facing eviction. We saw Esusu respond immediately with rent relief efforts – creating zero-interest housing stability loans to address this problem head-on.”
Introduced in the Spring of 2020, Esusu’s zero-interest housing stability fund saw an increase in demand due to the rise in unemployment, evictions, and a decline in financial stability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With over $70 billion in outstanding rental payments, Esusu’s zero-interest rent relief efforts kept families in their homes, while also empowering them with the benefits of rent-reporting and credit building.
“We invested in Esusu’s mission and have a strong conviction in the potential of this space,” said Serena Williams. “The tech-enabled model really creates win-win situations for stakeholders from renters to landlords. Our significant investment in Esusu will help the company scale and unlock more financial opportunity for people.”
Today, Esusu is available in 2 million homes representing over $2.4 billion in Gross Lease Value nationwide. Esusu works with 30% of the largest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) list. Some of its partners include Goldman Sachs, Related Companies, Winn Residential, Camden Property Trust, L+M Development Partners, and more. This year, Esusu was recognized as one of the most innovative companies by Forbes, landing on the annual Fintech 50 List with Stripe, Robinhood, and others.