Serena Williams is helping renters to score better in the credit game.
Esusu, which allows renters to build credit through reporting rent data to the credit bureaus, according to the company’s Twitter account, teamed up with the tennis star to pursue a substantial business opportunity.
Through her venture capital firm called Serena Ventures, Williams “committed” to investing “an undisclosed amount,” according to CNBC.
— Frank Holland, MBA (@FrankCNBC) July 16, 2021
New York City-headquartered Esusu “has raised more than $14 million.” Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel started the company in 2018 because they observed how “immigrant families struggle to pay for rent and build credit after moving to the United States.”
“We exist in 2 million households across all 50 states. We want to grow that to cover 5 million households within the next year,” Wemimo said in the CNBC interview. “This Series A financing enables Esusu to double down on growth through product innovation, top talent recruitment, and building the most comprehensive financial health platform in the market for low-to-medium-income families.”
Esusu utilizes its platform to record and report rental payments to Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, per CNBC.
As odd as it may sound to some, “26 million Americans, are credit invisible,” according to an older study published by the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB). Also, “one in every 10 adults do not have any credit history with a nationwide consumer reporting agency.”
“A limited credit history can create real barriers for consumers looking to access the credit that is often so essential to meaningful opportunity—to get an education, start a business, or buy a house. Further, some of the most economically vulnerable consumers are more likely to be credit invisible,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in 2015.