Serena Williams has invested an unknown sum in Esusu, a fintech start-up that helps tenants establish and enhance their credit by submitting their rent payments to credit agencies.
Serena Ventures, the tennis superstar’s venture capital business, donated the cash as part of the start-first up’s fundraising round.
What exactly is Esusu?
Esusu is a smartphone application that allows users to form and maintain Rotational Savings Clubs with their friends and family.
Esusu earns money by charging landlords $2 per unit every month for rent reporting. For landlords, the value proposition includes a 25% increase in on-time monthly payments and an amenity that they can utilise to attract new high-quality renters or retain existing tenants who wish to improve their credit.
The fintech, which is based in New York, has already received more than $14 million.
Esusu was created in 2018 by Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel after witnessing firsthand the difficulties their immigrant families experienced in the United States due to their lack of credit history and their inability to make rent payments.
Serena Williams: Investing to empower
“I founded Serena Ventures to invest in diverse entrepreneurs and early-stage companies that excel and produce impact, while at the same time empowering people and providing opportunities,” Serena told CNBC about the latest start-up she has decided to sponsor. Esusu is unquestionably one of those businesses.”
She went on to say that the “financial inclusion” of working families and institutions is at the heart of the start-business up’s model.
Serena Ventures, Williams’ VC arm, sponsored Esusu’s $10 million Series A financing round, which was headed by Motley Fool Ventures.
It plans to utilise the cash to develop new products, hire top people, improve cybersecurity, and expand the company.
Global Good Fund, Next Play Ventures, and Zeal Capital have all previously invested in Esusu.
In a statement, Motley Fool Ventures managing director Ollen Douglass stated, “Esusu is an amazing example of a creative fintech business utilising technology to offer scalable and much-needed financial solutions for disadvantaged communities.”
Their software keeps track of rent payments and reports them to credit bureaus including Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
“The tech-enabled approach truly offers a win-win situation for all parties involved, from tenants to landlords,” Williams added. “Our substantial investment in Esusu will enable the firm to expand and capitalise on opportunities.”
“Esusu is particularly focused on credit development and providing routes to financial inclusion, not only for working families but also for individuals,” said the seven-time Wimbledon winner.
Esusu, based in New York City, has already received $14 million in investment.