‘Rent-to-Own’ Firm Gets Major Cash Infusion From Celebrities Will Smith, Jay Z

A company seeking to help bridge the gap between aspiring homeowners and actual homeownership is getting a substantial cash investment from A-list celebrities Will Smith and Jay Z.

Landis Technologies will receive a $165 million investment from several firms, two of which are owned, respectively, by Smith and Jay-Z.

The company on its website says that participants can apply for Landis to purchase their “dream home,” after which the aspiring homeowner will rent the home from the company for up to two years, with part of the rental money going toward a down payment.

“All closing costs are covered by the down payment fund,” the company tells buyers, “so you can stay in your home and easily transition to just paying your monthly mortgage.”

“We are proud to have invested in Landis,” said Will Smith, co-founder of Dreamers VC. “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.”

The company is working in nearly a dozen states and is aiming for an 80 percent renter-to-homeowner turnover rate.