(Bloomberg) -- Esusu, a financial technology company that aims to help bridge the racial wealth gap by reporting rent payments to credit agencies, has become one of only a few Black-owned startups to reach a valuation of $1 billion after closing a Series B round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2.
Just six months after its Series A, the New York-based company plans to use the $130 million of new capital it received to triple its number of employees and “turbocharge growth through product innovation,” Esusu said in a statement Thursday. Founded in 2018, the company reports on-time rent payments to major credit bureaus in an effort to help renters improve scores and qualify for financial products.
“That’s the quintessential piece of credit scores, and that’s one of the biggest gaps we’re excited about,” co-founder Abbey Wemimo said in a telephone interview. The company said that over 90% of renters do not currently get credit for making rent payments on time.
“If you want to buy a house and you don’t have a credit score, you’re not going to get access to it,” Wemimo added.
Esusu is currently available in 2.5 million homes across the U.S. and works with 35% of the largest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council list. The company generates revenue by charging landlords a one time on-boarding fee and then a small monthly fee for each unit using the service.
The latest funding round saw participation from Jones Feliciciano Family Office, Lauder Zinterhofer Family Office, Motley Fool Ventures, Schusterman Foundation, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Related Cos., and Wilshire Lane Capital. Existing investors include Concrete Rose Capital and Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm started by tennis champion Serena Williams that invests in diverse founders.
See More: Abbey Wemimo of Esusu Financial Inc on Bloomberg US TV
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