Landis Raises $165 Million to Help Americans Become Homeowners
New York-based startup Landis has just landed a major investment that will help them continue their mission of turning renters into homebuyers. The $165 million round is comprised of debt and Series A equity financing. Leading the round was the most-active FinTech venture capital investment firm Sequoia Capital with participation from Arrive, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, and Signia Venture Partners. To date, the company’s total debt and equity raised totals $182 million.
Landis is a FinTech platform that aims to help more Americans become homeowners. Prospective buyers can apply for Landis’ program, with the company employing dynamic underwriting technology to determine whether applicants who might not qualify for mortgages at the time are likely to qualify within the next one to two years. If approved, Landis will connect customers with partner agents and purchase the home of the applicant’s choice. Then, Landis customers will pay rent to the company for up to 24 months, with a portion of that rent going toward a down payment fund. Finally, when renters are ready, they can buy their home from Landis. Currently, the company operates its program in 11 states: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Maryland, Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Along with this signature program, Landis has announced that it is opening access to its Landis Homeownership Coach mobile app, available for iOS. This application will allow future homebuyers to view their credit and down payments savings along with advice about how to prepare their finances for a mortgage. According to the startup, the move to making this app free to all is another step in their goal to democratize access to homeownership.
Speaking to how the latest funding round will help Landis to make a larger impact, co-founder Cyril Berdugo said, “What makes Landis unique is our ability to coach anyone to homeownership. This new funding will allow us to help more Americans on their path to homeownership by expanding to new states, hiring talent nationwide, and providing a better experience to our clients and partner agents and lenders.”
Commenting on the need for the startup’s services, co-founder Tom Petit stated, “We understand that people can fall on tough times, but no one should be locked out of homeownership forever. 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.”
As for the investor perspective, actor and Dreamers VC co-founder Will Smith said of working with the FinTech, “We are proud to have invested in Landis. 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.”
This massive Series A (which does include an undisclosed amount of debt) comes on the heels of what was another record-breaking quarter for FinTech funding. Speaking of records, Landis’ investment round also arrives as home prices are soaring due to lack of supply. Thus, it’s surely helpful to have an extra $165 million that the startup can tap for its homebuying program. Meanwhile, with the weight of major VCs such as Sequoia now behind them, expect that Landis will be looking to expand into more states and markets in the near future.