Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Jay-Z and Will Smith Invest in Company to Help Low-Income Folks Go From Renters to Homeowners

The startup puts a new spin on the rent-to-own business model by providing clients with the tools and tips they need to both secure and maintain a home.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Jay-Z, left and Will Smith.
Jay-Z, left and Will Smith.
Photo: Vivien Killilea for PUMA/Carlos Alvarez (Getty Images)

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.

I don’t think there’s anyone on Beyoncé and Blue Ivy’s internet who would argue against the fact that when it comes to extreme business prowess, Jay-Z has certainly lived up to the aforementioned credence. The same can arguably be said of Will Smith, whose history of box office-smashing hits and deliberate business strategies have positioned him for a career most could only dream about.

Now, the two successful entertainers are once again making money moves—this time for the betterment of would-be homeowners. Bloomberg reports that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Smith’s Dreamers VC recently invested in a startup that seeks to help people go from renters to home buyers by building better credit. The startup, Landis Technologies, has raised $165 million thus far and will use that money to purchase at least 1,000 homes.

More on how Landis Technologies operates via Bloomberg:

The company purchases a house and rents it to the client until they can qualify for a mortgage. The client can buy it back at a predetermined price up to two years after the initial acquisition. As part of its service, Landis provides coaching for clients on how to manage their finances to improve their credit and save the amount they need for a down payment. Landis sets rents equivalent to its carrying costs on the home. It also charges a fee on top of the value of the property at the time of its initial purchase. If a client isn’t ready to buy the home after two years, Landis may offer them more time, or sell the property.”

Advertisement

“Financial inclusion is really important to us,” co-founder Cyril Berdugo explained. “An aspect of Landis that we’re very proud to be a part of is wealth creation for low-income Americans. We make money when our client buys the house back. If we leave money on the table, that’s our problem.”

With this novel strategy, Landis Technologies hopes to convert roughly 80 percent of its clients from renters to buyers in the near future.