Esusu becomes unicorn with SoftBank led $130M series B funding

Fintech startup Esusu has announced its series B funding to become the latest unicorn in the world. The financial technology startup said it has crossed the $1 billion dollar valuation after raising $130 million new funding. 

The series B financing will provide Esusu with the needed capital to execute on their mission to remove impediments to better housing plans for work families. The startup intends to work towards its vision to unleash the power of technology to bridge the racial wealth gap. 

Fintech startup Esusu

Esusu becomes unicorn with SoftBank Vision Fund 2-led $130M series B funding which was led by SoftBank vision Fund 2 and had participation from Jones Felixiano Family office, Lauder Zinterhofer Family Office, Schusterman Foundation, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Related Companies and Wilshire Lane Capital.

The investment gives the Fintech startup a valuation of $1 billion making it one of the few black-owned unicorns in the United States who have been successful.

Over 45 million people in the U.S. don’t have credit scores, according to a 2020 report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Most of this demographic are financially marginalized due to their background and race. 90% of these people don’t get credit for paying their rent on time.

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Immigrants and African Americans have lower or non-existent credit scores than other populations. To a large extent, they also witness more predatory lending, putting them in a cycle of financial insecurity. So, while they need strong credit scores to build wealth, they do not have access to build credit. Hence the need for Esusu.

What is Esusu?

Esusu co-founders

Co-founded by Nigerian-born American Abbey Wemimo and Indian American Samir Goel who grew up in immigrant homes and experienced firsthand the challenges of financial exclusion in America. The co-CEOs started the company in 2018 to build the credit scores of marginalized groups and also leverage the power of technology to bridge the racial wealth gap through rental payments.

The startup is headquartered in New York, the fintech startup partners with property owners and housing providers and works with 35% of the largest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council (NHMC) list. Its partners include Goldman Sachs, Camden Property Trust, Cushman & Wakefield (formerly Pinnacle), Morgan Properties, Stoneweg, Jonathan Rose Companies, Related Companies, Starwood Capital Group and Winn Residential.

How Fintech startup Esusu work

Esusu

The fintech platform provides rent reporting, rich property management analytics, and rental assistance unlocking financial access and stability for renters and property owners alike.

With Esusu, you can build credit by renting, the startup automates your credit building by reporting your monthly rent payments to credit bureaus, boosting your credit score one rent payment at a time

Esusu captures on-time rental payment data of renters who opt-in to its platform and reports to the three major credit bureaus–Equifax, TransUnion and Experian–to strengthen their credit scores. This way, renters can work their way to better credit scores over time while Esusu helps property owners mitigate against initiating evictions. 

Esusu charges property managers and owners a $3,500 set-up fee and $2 per unit monthly. Renters, on the other hand, pay an annual subscription fee of $50 to report their rental payment data to credit bureaus.

Esusu’s platform enables renters to build financial identity, reach financial stability, and ultimately move towards wealth creation. Reaching over 2.5 million rental units across all 50 states, Esusu’s platform provides a win-win solution for landlords and renters alike. 

What you should know about Esusu

Around July last year, Esusu announced it’s first funding, a series A investment led by Motley Fool Ventures Managing Partner Ollen Douglass. The Series A round positioned the company to accelerate market adoption and become the leading platform in the sector. 

Esusu plans to use this Series B capital to triple it’s workforce, add an infusion to scale its team, turbocharge growth through product innovation, and build the most comprehensive financial health platform in the market.

So far, the Fintech startup has a 600% year-over-year (yoy) growth rate. Over 2.5 million homes currently use its service, representing over $3 billion in Gross Lease Volume (GLV) across the U.S., up from 2 million homes and more than $2.4 billion in Gross Lease Value the company reported six months ago.

In April 2020, Esusu launched a rent relief fund after carrying out a survey on its platform that showed that 62% of its users would not be able to pay their rent on time due to the pandemic’s effects. The company raised almost $500,000 via crowdfunding and nonprofit impact investment funds.

Two years on, that program still runs and Esusu has scaled it to keep thousands of renters in their homes. The program has garnered partners with more than $1.7 billion on their balance sheet, 

“We founded Esusu with the vision of using data to bridge the racial wealth gap and create more equitable financial opportunities for low-to-moderate-income households in this country,” Wemimo and Goel said in a statement. 

“By establishing and improving credit scores, we are strengthening financial identities while empowering individuals, families, and communities to meet their long-term financial goals.”

With this funding, Esusu joins an exclusive group of black-led and owned startups globally that have achieved the coveted unicorn valuation status out of more than 900 companies. The unicorn companies include scheduling app Calendly valued at $3 billion; U.K.-based fintech Zepz at $5 billion and digital insurance startup Marshmallow at $1.2 billion; and African fintechs Flutterwave ($1 billion), Chipper Cash ($2 billion) and Interswitch ($1 billion).

Opportunity 

As Esusu prepares for its largest growth phase in, the company is looking to hire across many departments, including Engineering, Data Science, Product, Operations, Marketing, Human Resources, Account Management, and Sales. 

If this interests you, you might want to try your luck here to apply

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