5 Questions with Esusu
Esusu is the leading financial technology platform that leverages data solutions to empower tenants and improve property performance. Founded in 2017, Esusu is at the forefront of paving a permanent bridge to financial access by providing financial solutions for low-to-middle income consumers. Esusu's rent reporting platform captures rental payment data and reports it to the credit bureaus to boost credit scores. This allows tenants to build and establish their credit scores while helping property owners increase revenue, lower evictions, and fill vacancies powered by differentiated data and insights.
Esusu's rise to popularity has been welcomed by consumers and lenders alike, well-supported financially and documented in major news outlets such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, amongst many. We are grateful to its co-founders Abbey Wemimo and Samir Goel for taking the time to answer our 5 questions this month. For more on Abbey and Samir, check out their bios below...
Can you share what is Esusu and what are its major benefits?
Esusu is a financial technology platform that leverages data solutions for credit building. Our team recognized that for millions of Americans - rent is the largest single expense for many individuals and families every month. Mortgage payments count towards your credit score, unfortunately, rent historically didn’t count towards building credit. At Esusu, we are challenging that and making rental payments count for working families.
Our rent reporting platform captures rental payment data and reports it to the major credit bureaus to boost credit scores, empower residents and improve property performance for landlords. The benefits of rent reporting are significant. Our technology and numerous partnerships with property managers nationwide make it possible to help our renters establish and boost their credit profiles and simultaneously we help property owners increase revenue, lower evictions, and fill vacancies. It’s all about strengthening the financial health and access of communities.
How can both consumers and landlords/ property managers work with Esusu to provide rental data to credit bureaus?
Esusu works with both renters and property managers simultaneously, every day. Property managers and landlords partner with Esusu to provide rent reporting capabilities as an amenity for residents. Every month, Esusu reports on-time rental data to the credit bureaus and resident credit scores go up. This partnership with landlords and property managers drives ontime payments, improves retention, and helps to minimize risk across property portfolios. If renters happen to experience a financial shock, Esusu now offers select 0% interest housing stability loans for tenants experiencing hardship (especially from the pandemic). The aim of this service is to keep people in their homes.
What rent data insights have you gleaned from the past year, during the pandemic?
When the pandemic hit we knew the impact would be massive and that it could create a housing crisis placing renters at risk of eviction. We were correct and COVID-19 caused a spike in unemployment, a rise in evictions, and a decline in financial stability for millions of Americans. As a result of this, we saw delinquencies increase as renters struggled to pay their bills. This crisis amplified the importance of our mission to keep working families in their homes.
To respond to this eviction crisis, we partnered with notable philanthropic donors to provide zero-interest relief loans to help renters avoid eviction and combat homelessness. With millions in philanthropic capital raised, Esusu has the backing to help tenants who apply for support avoid homelessness.
How has your own personal and financial background (and specifically your credit-building journey) inspired you to create Esusu?
The inspiration for Esusu is deeply personal for us and a direct result of our own experiences with the credit system. We have experienced firsthand the difficulty of living in this country without a strong credit score. We watched our parents perform miracles to put food on the table and a roof over our heads as they struggled to establish and build their financial identity in the United States. We felt the pain of having to borrow and take out loans from predatory lenders to pay for school and make ends meet.
As we reflected on our experiences, we wanted to push back on the notion that where you come from, the color of your skin, and your zip code can determine where you end up in life. So we built Esusu to democratize credit building for every American.
What was your family’s path to homeownership? How is it the same or different than what others may be facing in these times?
Our families both immigrated to this country with limited access to capital and no financial identities. We didn’t have credit scores - we couldn’t go to a bank to borrow money. That experience mirrors the reality that millions face when they move to the United States and that of the millions who are credit invisible. It’s hard to move from this point to owning a home.
We started Esusu to give folks a fighting chance at a stronger financial future and realistic pathways from renting to homeownership. Homeownership is one of the single largest drivers of wealth in this country and we have to ensure that more people have a way to get there if they want it.
Abbey Wemimo is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Esusu, a financial technology platform that reports rental data to build tenant's credit scores while helping property owners increase revenue and lower evictions powered by differentiated data and insights. Prior to Esusu, Abbey founded Clean Water for Everyone, a global social venture providing affordable access to clean water for 250,000+ people in six countries. He also founded a data analytics company designed to gather machine-readable data on NGOs operating in Africa which was acquired in 2014. Previously, Abbey was a mergers and acquisitions consultant at PwC, where he worked on more than 20 buy and sell-side deals valued at over $50 billion. He also gained valuable experience working with Accenture, European Commission, and Goldman Sachs.
Abbey and his work have been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Quartz, Fortune, Teen Vogue, Vice, Black Enterprise, and Cheddar. Abbey was selected by Queen Elizabeth II as a Queen Young Leader. He was inducted into The Royal Commonwealth Society in 2017 and named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He speaks at global conferences and has presented at the United Nations, the Vatican, the World Food Prize, and Clinton Global Initiative among others. Abbey graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School School of Public Service and a Leading Change Scholar from The University of Cambridge.
Samir Goel is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Esusu, a financial technology platform that reports rental data to build tenant's credit scores while helping property owners increase revenue and lower evictions powered by differentiated data and insights. The company's mission is to provide financial solutions that pave a permanent bridge to financial access and inclusion.
Prior to Esusu, Samir Co-Founded Transfernation, a nationally recognized non-profit that uses technology to ensure that excess food goes toward underserved communities across New York City. Transfernation has rescued over 2 million pounds of food and impacted 1.8 million lives. Samir’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Quartz, Fortune, Vice, Black Enterprise, and he was named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Previously, Samir worked at LinkedIn in Customer Success Consulting, Talent Acquisition, and Sales Strategy & Operations focused across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Samir also worked at The United Nations and Venture for America. Samir contributes for LinkedIn, The Daily Muse, Influencive, Mogul, and Quartz. He speaks at conferences around the country and has addressed The United Nations to the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting. He received his Bachelor of Science from New York University's Stern School of Business.