Will Smith and Jay-Z Inject $165m into FinTech Startup Helping Low-Income Families Become Homeowners

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Jay-Z and Will Smith’s companies (Roc Nation and Dreamers VC, respectively) have invested a combined $165 million in seed funding to tech startup Landis.

Landis technology and data science to help renters reach homeownership by allowing them to save money and build a “stronger financial foundation.” The company hopes to purchase approximately 1,000 homes and help those who may not otherwise be able to buy.

“What makes Landis unique is our ability to coach anyone to homeownership. This new funding will allow us to help more Americans on their path to homeownership by expanding to new states, hiring talent nationwide and providing a better experience to our clients and partner agents and lenders,” says Berdugo.

According to Bloomberg, Landis currently operates in 11 states, including Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina, and its average client is a first-time homebuyer with a budget between $110,000 and $400,000.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), reports that the homeownership rate for African Americans is approximately 42% – 45% — essentially unchanged from the rate decades ago.

The financial fallout from the pandemic has not helped matters. Potential renters can be at even more of a disadvantage — as many renters and homeowners struggle to hold onto their homes.

Midnight Saturday, the eviction moratorium ended, putting millions of Americans at risk of eviction.

Still, Landis feels optimistic that they can help.

“We understand that people can fall on tough times, but no one should be locked out of homeownership forever. Whatever their situation, we give our clients easy, achievable steps to become eligible for a mortgage. Getting ready for a mortgage is often a stressful and difficult process. Landis makes it easy, fun and approachable,” says Petit.

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