NEW YORK, New York — New York based fintech Group Landis announced that it raised $165 million in a combination of debt and Series A equity funding. Sequoia Capital led the round and was joined by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation venture investment arm Arrive, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and existing investor Signia Venture Partners. A group of founders also invested in the company, including those from Plaid, Cash App, Ethos, Instacart, Front, Flatiron Health and Tango. This latest funding brings Landis’ total debt and equity raised to date to $182 million.
“Landis helps families take their very first steps toward homeownership,” Roelof Botha, partner at Sequoia, said in a written statement. “By focusing on financial literacy and individualized coaching, we are giving everyone the opportunity to own their home. Landis’ technology is particularly relevant to those with low-to-moderate income who have been neglected by traditional financial solutions.”
Cyril Berdugo and Tom Petit founded Landis in 2018 and according to TechCrunch, the idea for the company came after witnessing renters losing money, by, for example, paying $1,700 per month to live in a home where, based on its value, a mortgage would be $1,000 per month.
Landis receives referrals from real estate agents and mortgage lenders to work with prospective homeowners, who are typically unable to qualify for a mortgage due to poor credit, lack of down payment savings or debt.
It uses its underwriting technology to determine if the client will be able to afford a mortgage in the next 12 to 24 months. If so, Landis gives the client a budget to pick a property, and will purchase the home and rent it to the client, who will then work toward saving money and building a stronger financial footing to get to mortgage-readiness.
The company is already operating in 29 cities in 11 states and plans to increase that to 20 states by next year. Berdugo and Petit target states where the impact will be greatest, like where rents are higher than they should be.
In addition to the funding announcement, Landis said it opened up access to its Landis Homeownership Coach mobile app for free to everyone with an iPhone. The app provides a dashboard view of credit, down payment savings and debt, with insights and actions for clients toward reaching their goal of qualifying for a mortgage.