Black-Owned Esusu Becomes Unicorn With SoftBank Vision Fund Leading The $130M Investment
Esusu, a fintech that targets immigrant and minority groups and provides rent reporting and data solutions for credit building, said it had raised $130 million in a Series B fundraising round.
The investment gives Esusu, launched in 2018 by co-CEOs Nigerian-born American Abbey Wemimo and Indian American Samir Goel, a valuation of $1 billion, placing it as one of the very few black-owned unicorns in the U.S. and globally.
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the funding round, with participation from Jones Feliciano Family Office, Lauder Zinterhofer Family Office, Schusterman Foundation, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Related Companies, and Wilshire Lane Capital.
Esusu founders grew up in immigrant homes and experienced firsthand this financial exclusion. They started the company in 2018 to build the credit scores of this marginalized group and “leverage data to bridge the racial wealth gap” via rental payments.
The New York-headquartered fintech 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, Related Companies, Starwood Capital Group, and Winn Residential.
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.
It charges property managers and owners a $3,500 set-up fee and $2 per unit monthly. On the other hand, Renters pay an annual subscription fee of $50 to report their rental payment data to credit bureaus.
“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.”