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Jay-Z and Will Smith Invest in Startup That Will Help Low-Income Renters Become Homebuyers

Entertainment powerhouses Jay-Z and Will Smith are teaming up to transform renters into first-time homebuyers.

Bloomberg reports that the business mogul and veteran Hollywood actor are just two of several deep-pocketed investors plunging into the Series A funding round of Landis Technologies. This startup company assists renters in building their credit until they can purchase a home. Among this group, which has raised $165 million in capital, is venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Arrive, which is Jay’s investment branch of his entertainment company Roc Nation, and Smith’s fund Dreamers VC. The funding round was led by Signia Venture Partners and reportedly included investments from founders of Plaid, Cash App, Ethos, Instacart, Front, Flatiron Health, and Tango.

The startup, founded in 2017 by Cyril Berdugo and Tom Petit, seemingly reinvents the rent-to-own strategy. The company would purchase property and rent it to its client as they work through building their credit, saving for a down payment, and minimizing their debt. Once the renters become eligible for a mortgage, they can buy the property at a predetermined price up to two years after Landis bought it. Should an individual not be ready, the company may extend their time or sell the property.

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