Did you know that only 1% of Black founders and 2% of women founders are backed by venture capital firms in the United States? These appalling figures not only illuminate how little support Black and women-led businesses receive, but also show that leaders in the tech community have a responsibility to drive change. That’s why Braze launched the Tech for an Equitable Future program.
Founded in 2018, Esusu Financial, Inc. (hereinafter “Esusu”) was built to create equitable financial access for everyone in hopes of bridging the racial wealth gap. The company works with both individual renters and property owners or managers to report on-time rental payments to the major credit bureaus. This allows renters to establish or improve their credit scores, growing their financial wellness and increasing access to the U.S. financial system. Property owners and managers can offer Esusu’s services to their residents to incentivize on-time payments and maximize their net operating income.
With limited resources and pre-Series A funding, Esusu turned to Tech for an Equitable Future (formerly Tech for Black Founders), a Braze initiative that provides qualifying underrepresented founders, including Black and women founders, with 12 months of free access to the company’s comprehensive customer engagement platform.
During their time in the program, Esusu went from an ultra-lean, pre-Series A startup to a $130m Series B one, growing swiftly throughout and achieving a unicorn status (characterized by a valuation of $1 billion or more). They now work with more than 50% of the largest landlords on the National Multifamily Housing Council (NHMC) list, up from 35% in January 2022, making it possible to help millions of Americans improve their credit through reporting on-time rent payments. Check out the full case study here.