Nigerian-led fintech, Esusu attains unicorn status with $130m Series B funding

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Esusu, a fintech that provides rent reporting and data solutions for credit development to immigrants and minorities, has secured $130 million in a Series B funding round.

The company, which has been around for more than 3 years, now has a $1 billion valuation, making it one of the few black-owned unicorns in the United States and abroad.

The recent funding round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 with participation from others like Jones Feliciano Family Office, Lauder Zinterhofer Family Office, Schusterman Foundation, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Related Companies, and Wilshire Lane Capital.

Motley Fool Ventures, which was the lead investor in the company’s $10 million Series A round in July also re-invested in this fresh round of funding according to a Nairametrics report.

Concrete Rose Capital, The Equity Alliance, Impact America Fund, Next Play Ventures, Serena Ventures (owned by tennis legend Serena Williams), Sinai Ventures, and TypeOne Ventures, among others, increased their stakes. Esusu has raised about $144 million in total funding.

With this financing, Esusu joins an exclusive club of over 900 black-led and owned enterprises throughout the world that have earned the coveted unicorn value.

Esusu Founders; Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel.

Among those to have achieved similar unicorn status are Calendly, a scheduling app based in the United States, which is worth $3 billion; Zepz, a UK fintech worth $5 billion; Marshmallow, a digital insurance startup, is worth $1.2 billion; and African fintechs Flutterwave ($1 billion), Chipper Cash ($2 billion), and Interswitch ($1 billion) are all worth $1 billion.

The company is expected to use the funds to expand its workforce and drive development via product innovation, all while developing the most complete financial health platform available.

Founded by immigrants

The company was founded in 2018 by Abbey Wemimo, a Nigerian-born American, and Samir Goel, an Indian-born American. Its founders both grew up in immigrant families and have intimate experience with financial exclusion.

According to the company, its goal is to improve the credit scores of the underserved population and leverage data to address the racial wealth gap through rental payments.

The fintech based in New York achieves this by working with property owners and housing providers. It currently employs 35 per cent of the nation’s largest landlords, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council (NHMC).

“We started Esusu with the idea of leveraging data to bridge the racial wealth gap and generate more equal financial possibilities for low-to-moderate-income people in our country.” “We are building financial identities while enabling people, families, and communities to fulfill their long-term financial objectives by creating and increasing credit ratings.

Esusu Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel.

Goldman Sachs, Related Companies, Starwood Capital Group, and Winn Residential are among its partners.

Helping property owners avoid eviction

Renters who opt-in to Esusu’s platform have their on-time rental payment data captured and reported to the three main credit bureaus–Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian–to improve their credit ratings.

Image Credit; Nairametrics

Renters may improve their credit ratings over time, while Esusu helps property owners avoid evictions.

Esusu charges a $3,500 setup fee and $2 per unit every month to property managers and owners. Renters, on the other hand, pay a $50 yearly membership fee to credit agencies to submit their rental payment data.

According to the founders, the company boasts a 600 per cent year-over-year growth rate.

The company says over 2.5 million homes now use its service in the United States, representing over $3 billion in Gross Lease Volume (GLV), up from 2 million homes and more than $2.4 billion in GLV reported six months ago.


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