Landis Technologies, a New York-based company, announced they are raising $165 million from a group of investors that includes superstars Jay-Z and Will Smith.
The funds will help renters build credit until they can purchase homes.
Landis buys homes and rents it to clients until they qualify for a mortgage. At that point, the client can buy the property back at a predetermined price up to two years after the initial acquisition.
According to Ebuzztt.com, the model counts as a new spin on a rent-to-own strategy that’s been employed by other companies including Home Partners of America, which Blackstone Group Inc. agreed to purchase for $6 billion.
“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,” the tech site reported.
The company’s typical client is a first-time homebuyer with a budget between $110,000 and $400,000, Ebuzztt noted.
Jay-Z’s philanthropic efforts helping renters isn’t new.
The hip hop icon and business guru recently teamed with Twitter Founder Jack Dorsey to announce a new “Bitcoin Academy” for underserved residents – particularly those in Brooklyn, New York’s Marcy Houses, where the rap pioneer grew up.
The duo announced that the academy would offer one year of in-person and online classes through September 7, only for Marcy residents.
They plan to add other locations for the program designed in collaboration with Crypto Blockchain Plug and Black Bitcoin Billionaire.
Jay-Z and Dorsey said their mission includes providing education and empowering the community with knowledge.
Program participants would receive MiFi devices, a one-year limited data plan, and smartphones if needed. Residents may keep the devices.