According to TechCrunch, the two business moguls have joined a group of investors for a $165 million Series A equity funding round for Landis Technologies — a company that helps people transition from renting to owning — through Roc Nation and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC.
“We are proud to have invested in Landis,” Smith said in a statement. “Landis is an innovative company that also has a social mission we are aligned with. We are excited to be part of a journey that helps Americans achieve homeownership through financial education.”
Neil Sirni — co-founder and President of Roc Nation’s venture investment arm Arrive — echoed Smith’s statement saying, “we believe that Landis is determined to build a company that consumers can trust. Our investment demonstrates our commitment to supporting Landis on their mission to make the path to homeownership more accessible, transparent and empowering.”
Bloomberg reports that Landis offers a new flip on the rent-to-own business strategy that other companies have opted for previously. As part of its slate of services, the startup offers clients coaching on how to manage their finances, improve their credit and save money to put a down payment on a home.
This approach is attempting to restructure the way Americans pursue homeownership by providing more access to resources that aren’t always readily available to any and all people.
“We understand that people can fall on tough times, but no one should be locked out of homeownership forever,” co-founder Tom Petit said in a statement. “Whatever their situation, we give our clients easy, achievable steps to become eligible for a mortgage. Getting ready for a mortgage is often a stressful and difficult process. Landis makes it easy, fun and approachable.”
Both Jay-Z and Will Smith have prioritized brands and startups that align with their investment portfolios — backing companies that are improving life for people across all sectors.