Homeownership: Landis Raises $165 Million For With Help From Will Smith

Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and a company backed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation participated in a $165 million capital raise for Landis, whi
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Photos: Landis

Will Smith and a company backed by Jay-Z are betting on a startup that seeks to make homeownership easier to obtain.

Will Smith’s Dreamers VC and a company backed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation participated in a $165 million capital raise for Landis, which seeks to help renters become owners. The funding round was led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and included debt and Series A equity financing.

Landis has now raised $182 million since its founding in 2018. Led by Cyril Berdugo and Tom Petit, the startup seeks to help aspirational homeowners purchase a home through its technology platform.

The company will often work with someone who cannot secure a mortgage because of bad credit or the inability to come up with a down payment, according to Petit. Landis will use its technology to determine whether the aspiring homebuyer can afford to qualify for a mortgage in the next 12 to 24 months. If they can, Landis will rent the customer the property and provide a coach to help the client secure the mortgage.

The goal is for the resident to start paying a mortgage instead of rent.

“People get really attached to the house, so they redouble the efforts to get that mortgage,” said Petit, explaining the premise of the business plan.

Berdugo said the platform has no upfront costs for participants and aims to not collect rent for long.

“We are not a landlord, we are a homeownership program,” said Berdugo.

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