Venture Capital: Tennis Superstar Serena Williams Backs Fintech Esusu
Esusu reports rent payments to credit bureaus, facilitating tenants’ credit history.
Serena Williams has invested an undisclosed amount through her venture capital arm in Esusu, a fintech that automates credit building by reporting a person’s rent payments to credit bureaus, “boosting credit scores one rent payment at a time.” (CNBC)
Williams’ VC arm, Serena Ventures, backed Esusu’s Series A funding round of $10 million which was led by Motley Fool Ventures.
With this, the New York-headquartered fintech has now raised upwards of $14 million.
It will use the funds for product innovation, hiring top talent, cybersecurity and to scale up the business.
Serena Williams: Diversity and impact investing
“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.” Williams told CNBC.
Previous investors in Esusu include Global Good Fund, Next Play Ventures and Zeal Capital.
“Esusu is an excellent example of an innovative fintech company leveraging technology to deliver scalable and much-needed financial solutions for underserved populations,” Motley Fool Ventures managing director Ollen Douglass said in a release. “Their inclusive credit building offerings can unlock access to credit for low-to-medium income households across the country.”
Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel founded Esusu in 2018 after they witnessed first hand the travails their immigrant families faced in the US because they had no credit record and stretched to make rent payments.
Their platform records and thereafter reports rent payments to large credit bureaus such as Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.
“The tech-enabled model really creates a win-win situation for stakeholders, renters to landlords,” Williams said. “Our significant investment in Esusu will help the company scale and unlock opportunity.”
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
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