Rent reporting platform Esusu has secured a $10 million investment from Series A round with famous tennis player Serena Williams investing an undisclosed amount via her venture capital firm Serena Ventures.
Speaking on the investment, Serena Williams said, "I started Serena Ventures to invest in diverse founders and early-stage companies that outperform and generate impact, while at the same time empowering others and creating opportunities. Esusu is definitely one of those companies. Esusu is really focused on credit building and creating pathways to financial inclusion not only for working families but for individuals as well."
Apart from Serena Ventures, Other investors like The Equity Alliance, Predictive VC, and notably angel investors featured in this round, with Motley Fool Ventures leading the round. With this Seed round, New York-based Esusu has raised more than $14 million in funding. Previous investors include Global Good Fund, Next Play Ventures and Zeal Capital.
Motley Fool Ventures managing director Ollen Douglass said in a release, "Esusu is an excellent example of an innovative fintech company leveraging technology to deliver scalable and much-needed financial solutions for underserved populations. "Their inclusive credit building offerings can unlock access to credit for low-to-medium income households across the country."
If you are coming across the startup for the first time, Esusu is a platform that reports rent payments to major credit bureaus allowing renters to build a credit history.
Founded in 2018 by the duo of Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel, Esusu was inspired by the challenges their families faced in paying rent and building credit after migrating to America. This is still an issue today as data suggest that 45 million Americans do not have a credit score, according to a 2020 report by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Speaking on the latest development, Wemimo said, "We exist in 2 million households across all 50 states. We want to grow that to cover 5 million households within the next year. 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."
Co-founders Wemimo and Goel say the new funding will be used to expand the business and cybersecurity. Currently, Esusu works with 30% of the biggest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council. Its partners include Goldman Sachs, Related Companies, Winn Residential, Camden Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group.