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Real Estate

Jay-Z and Will Smith Back Rent-to-Own Firm in $165 Million Round

  • Startup Landis aims to help would-be buyers save for a home
  • Company offers financial coaching to help with housing search
Jay-Z in New York.

Jay-Z in New York.

Photographer: Robert Kamau/GC Images/Getty Images

A startup that helps renters build credit until they can buy a place is raising $165 million from a group of investors that includes Sequoia Capital, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC.

Landis Technologies, founded by Cyril Berdugo and Tom Petit, caters to would-be homeowners who can’t afford to buy. The company purchases a house and rents it to the client until they can qualify for a mortgage. The client can buy it back at a predetermined price up to two years after the initial acquisition.