How Esusu Is Helping to Bridge the Wealth Gap One Credit Score at a Time
With 45 million people in the United States lacking credit scores, and millions more marginalized due to their background, race and zip code, entrepreneurs Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel realized they had an opportunity to help bridge the wealth gap by utilizing technology and data to build financial access and inclusion. So, in 2018, the pair founded Esusu—a financial technology platform that leverages data solutions to both empower tenants and improve property performance. Today, Esusu is the leading rent reporting platform, capturing rental payment data and reporting it to credit bureaus to boost users’ credit scores.
“We started Esusu with the belief that where you come from, the color of your skin and your financial identity should not determine where you end up in life,” Wemimo told Nasdaq’s “Faces of Entrepreneurship” earlier this year. “As cofounders, Samir and I have shared personal experiences with financial marginalization that inspired us to create this platform. Samir’s family came to this country with no credit and were robbed upon arrival, leaving them with no access to money. Personally, when I immigrated to the United States from Lagos, Nigeria, my mother and I didn’t have a financial identity or a credit score. We needed money, but we were turned away from the banks because we didn’t have a financial history. My mother pawned her wedding ring and borrowed money from a payday loan lender at over 400 percent interest rate. Inspired by these experiences, the ‘a-ha’ moment happened when we identified that the biggest barrier to entry in the financial system is not having a credit score. We knew that we wanted to leverage data to establish and boost credit profiles to unlock financial access for millions of Americans.”
Now working with 30 percent of the biggest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council, with a presence in two million households across all 50 states, Esusu has raised more than $14 million, including an investment from Serena Williams for an undisclosed amount.
“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 in July. “Esusu is really focused on credit building and creating pathways to financial inclusion—not only for working families but for individuals as well.”