By: Maximillian Boudreaux
Tennis superstar Serena Williams is working with Esusu, a fintech startup that helps the underserved population repair their credit by reporting their rent payments to credit bureaus.
Williams was able to give an unspecified donation through her venture capital firm Serena Ventures during the start-up’s initial investment phase. Some other investors include the Global Good Fund, Next Play Ventures and Zeal Capital.
“I started Serena Ventures to invest in diverse founders and early-stage companies that outperform and generate impact, while at the same time empowering others and creating opportunities. Esusu is definitely one of those companies,” Williams told CNBC. “Esusu is really focused on credit building and creating pathways to financial inclusion not only for working families but for individuals as well.”
Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel co-founded Esusu in 2018 after watching their immigrant family navigate trying to pay rent and build credit in the United States.
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“When my folks moved here, our journey to pursue the American dream was just harder than it should have been,”Goel told CNBC. “I remember just watching my parents work miracles with no credit and limited financial resources. Abbey and I like to say we are inspired by our experiences.”
The New York City based company was able to raise more than $14 million and according to the founders, this new investment will scale the business and increase cybersecurity.
The new startup is aimed at recording and reporting rental payments from the underserved community to some of the largest credit agencies out there like Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. This will hopefully improve the person’s credit and help the underserved get one step closer to financial freedom.
“This is really a massive market that has been long underserved,” Williams said. “We invested in Esusu’s mission and have a strong conviction in the potential of this space. The tech-enabled model really creates a win-win situation for stakeholders, renters to landlords. Our significant investment in Esusu will help the company scale and unlock opportunity.”