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Esusu becomes a unicorn, rare for a Black fintech in the US

Esusu has raised $130 million in a Series B round to deepen its fintech services to immigrant and minority groups and as well as provision of rent reporting and data solutions for credit building.

The fund gives the startup led by a Nigerian and Indian a $1 billion valuation, making it one of the very few unicorns owned by Blacks in the United States and globally.

The funding, led by Softbak Vision Fund 2, also saw participation by Jones Feliciano Family Office, Lauder Zinterhofer Family Office, Schusterman Foundation, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Related Companies, and Wilshire Lane Capital.

Motley Fool Ventures, the lead investor in Esusu’s $10 million Series A round last July, re-invested in the new round.

Other existing investors that participated included Concrete Rose Capital, The Equity Alliance, Impact America Fund, Next Play Ventures, Serena Ventures, Sinai Ventures, and TypeOne Ventures.

Esusu plans to use the funding to scale its team and drive growth through product innovation and build the most comprehensive financial health platform in the market.

Inspiration for Esusu

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Nigerian-American Abbey Wemimo and Indian-American Samir Goel said they founded the startup four years ago based on their experience of financial exclusion growing up in immigrant homes in the US.

“We founded Esusu with the vision of using data to bridge the racial wealth gap and create more equitable financial opportunities for low-to-moderate-income households in this country.

“By establishing and improving credit scores, we are strengthening financial identities while empowering individuals, families, and communities to meet their long-term financial goals,” they said in a statement, reported by Nairametrics.

Backstory

Esusu has raised over $144 million, joining a group of Black-led and owned startups globally that have achieved unicorn valuation out of more than 900 companies.

These unicorns include US scheduling app Calendly ($3 billion), UK fintech Zepz ($5 billion), digital insurance Marshmallow ($1.2 billion) – and African based Flutterwave ($1 billion), Chipper Cash ($2 billion), and Interswitch ($1 billion).

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Esusu was founded in 2018 to build the credit scores of marginalized groups and leverage data to bridge the racial wealth gap via rental payments by capturing on-time rental payment data of renters.

The renters are those who opt-in to its platform and report to the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – to strengthen their credit scores.

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