Esusu: How This Company Is Dismantling Barriers To Housing

By Amit Chowdhry ● August 30, 2020
  • Esusu, a leading platform that is dismantling barriers to housing, announced it has closed $2.3 million in seed extension funding.

Esusu — a leading platform that is dismantling barriers to housing — announced that it has closed $2.3 million in seed extension. And this brings the total capital raised to $4 million. The investors include Acumen Fund, Concrete Rose Capital, Global Good Fund, Impact America Fund, Next Play Ventures, and Zeal Capital Partners.

Esusu co-founders Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel intentionally secured a majority (65%) of the capital in this round from renowned Black and women-led venture capital firms. And they believe diverse investors give Esusu a strong competitive advantage.

In the next year, Esusu plans to hire exceptional talent to fuel its expansion to one million rental units in the United States. And Esusu partners with multifamily owners and property managers to report rental payment data into credit bureaus. Plus the company pairs tenants who cannot afford rent with affordable loans to get back on their feet.

This enables the tenants to build credit while property owners can encourage on-time payments. Currently, Esusu operates in over 30 states and covers over 200,000 rental units.

Currently, under 1% of rental payments are reported into the credit bureaus despite being the largest expense for most Americans. And according to HUD and Urban Institute, rental data is one of the strongest predictors of a tenant’s credit risk.

Esusu’s model essentially presents a profitable solution for property managers to help keep renters in their homes while equipping financial institutions with the data to underwrite renters with limited credit history. Currently, we are experiencing the greatest public health crisis in a century, the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, and accelerating income inequality. And at the same time, we are dealing with systemic racism — which stifles the promise of America.

Esusu’s model essentially presents a profitable solution for property managers to help keep renters in their homes while equipping financial institutions with the data to underwrite renters with limited credit history. Currently, we are experiencing the greatest public health crisis in a century, the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, and accelerating income inequality. And at the same time, we are dealing with systemic racism — which stifles the promise of America.

KEY QUOTES:

Esusus vision to use data to eliminate the racial wealth gap is driven by the role that credit and housing play in financial stability and wealth accumulation in the United States. Our fundamental belief is that where you come from, the color of your skin or your financial identity shouldnt determine where you end up in life. We are privileged to join forces with world-class investors to address these systemic issues through the innovative use of data.

At Esusu we have a unique opportunity to challenge the status quo by using our platform to dismantle barriers to housing for working families and over the longer horizon, eliminate the racial wealth gap.

— Esusu Co-Founders, Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel

This is Esusus moment. The company is adding significant value to both renters and property managers when the current economic crisis and chronic income inequality call for new, innovative solutions. Abbey and Samirs plans for the business are both visionary and pragmatic, and we couldnt be more excited or inspired to be on their team.

— Sean Mendy, Partner at Concrete Rose Capital.

Low and moderate-income communities of color need financial tools that prioritize their needs. This has long been the case, however, the joint health and economic crises in 2020 have exacerbated the need for innovative solutions. We are excited to invest in a team that has demonstrated significant traction in a short and turbulent period.

— Brittany Henry, Investor at Impact America Fund

The pandemic’s disproportionately harmful impact on underserved communities has reinforced the importance of closing societal divides and ensuring that equal talent has equal access to opportunity. Esusu provides a foundational building block in making that a reality: ensuring that deserving individuals and families have access to affordable housing. As founders who have experienced and overcome this issue firsthand, Abbey and Samir have been purpose-driven from day one and we couldn’t be more excited to help them fulfill their vision.

— Jeff Weiner, Founding Partner at Next Play Ventures and Executive Chairman at LinkedIn

Esusu is the gold standard model for how consumers with subprime credit scores can increase their credit and become financially healthy through alternative means, like rental payments.

— Nasir C. Qadree, Founder and Managing Partner of Zeal Capital Partners