Serena Williams invests in rent-reporting fintech Esusu

Serena Williams from The United States celebrates a win against Irina Camelia Beu of Romania in her first round ladies singles match. Day two of the 2021 French Open, Roland Garros, May 31, 2021 in Paris.

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Serena Williams has invested an undisclosed amount to Esusu. Esusu is a fintech company that allows renters to improve their credit score by reporting their rent payments on credit bureaus.

As part of the initial funding round, Serena Ventures provided support through her venture capital firm Serena Ventures.

Serena Ventures was started by me to invest in diverse founders as well as early-stage companies. Serena Ventures aims to empower others and create opportunities. Esusu is one of these companies. Williams stated to CNBC. “Esusu focuses on credit building, creating pathways to financial inclusion not only for working families, but for all individuals.”

Motley Fool Ventures (the investing arm of the personal financial site) led the Series A funding round that raised $10 million. Esusu is based in New York City and has raised more than $14 Million. Global Good Fund and Next Play Ventures were previous investors. Zeal Capital was also a previous investor.

Ollen Dougs, Motley Fool Ventures managing director, said that Esusu was an excellent example of a fintech company that leverages technology to deliver scalable financial solutions for underserved people. Their inclusive credit building offerings can open up credit for low-to medium income households across the country. 

Esusu was established in 2018 by Abbey Wemimo & Samir Goel. They saw immigrant families struggling to pay rent and build credit after moving to America.

According to the National Multi-Family Housing Council approximately 41 million families reside in apartments. 45 Million Americans do not have a high credit score according to a 2020 report of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Esusu uses their platform to record and report rental payments at the three largest credit bureaus: Equifax TransUnion and Experian.

Goel said that “when my parents moved here, our journey towards the American dream was just as difficult as it should have been.” “I can still vividly remember watching my parents do amazing things with very little credit and very limited financial resources. Abbey and I like saying that our experiences have inspired us.

Esusu currently works with 30% the largest landlords of the National Multifamily Housing Council. Its partners are Goldman Sachs, Related Companies and Starwood Capital Group.

Wemimo, Goel and Goel claim that the new funding will be used for scaling the business and increasing cybersecurity.

“We are present in 2 million households in all 50 states. We plan to expand that to 5 million households in the next year,” Wemimo stated to CNBC. “This Series A financing will allow Esusu, the world’s largest financial platform for low to moderate-income families, to double down on its growth through product innovations, top talent recruitment and building the best financial health platform in the marketplace.

Williams stated that “This is a huge market that has been long neglected.” “We invested in Esusu’s vision and have a strong belief in the potential for this space. The tech-enabled model creates a win/win situation for all stakeholders, landlords and renters. Esusu’s significant investment will allow the company to scale and unlock opportunities.