Ofo Ezeugwu, is one of 50 founders selected for Google for Startups program focused on high potential startups from Black entrepreneurs based in the U.S.
NEW YORK -- September 21, 2021 -- WhoseYourLandlord (WYL.co), a landlord review platform that provides housing educational content, and data and predictive analytics to enable home providers to better understand and engage their residents, today announced it was selected to join the second cohort of the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund, a $10 million initiative designed for Black founders, who are building great companies yet are often locked out of access to the funding that is critical to their success.
Last year, Google for Startups gave 76 Black-led startups up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding, helping them keep their doors open, pay their employees, and focus on building their businesses. With this second $5 million investment in the U.S. Black Founders Fund, 50 more founders across the United States will receive $100,000 in non-dilutive capital, meaning founders do not give up any ownership in their company in exchange for funding. The fund also includes technical support from tools and teams across Google, including as much as $120,000 in donated search Ads from Google.org and up to $100,000 in Google Cloud credits. Last year, founders who received awards went on to raise more than $50M in capital and 80% of recipients used the funding to create jobs.
WYL, a landlord review platform for renters and subscription SaaS product for landlords, is one of a select few high potential startups that the Google for Startups team has selected for this year’s nationwide cohort.
“I first heard of the Google for Startups program when I saw several of my friends announcing that they were selected at the close of 2020. I thought to myself, “How have I never heard of this?” Soon after, I joined Goodie Nation and, with the encouragement of several of my founder friends, decided to apply to the program,” says Ofo Ezeugwu, founder, WhoseYourLandlord. “The support from Google for Startups comes at a critical time and will be used to integrate features that’ll help us close more sales opportunities and test various user and customer acquisition strategies.”
“The Google for Startups Black Founders Fund embodies our mission of helping underrepresented founders grow their businesses. We are excited to continue the fund and contribute funding to Black founders, with no strings attached. Black founders currently receive less than 1 percent of total VC funding,” says Jewel Burks Solomon, Head of Google for Startups US. “We heard loud and clear from the 2020 fund recipients that Google for Startups and Goodie Nation have been crucial to their success not only through funding, but through community, mentorship, network connections and technical expertise.”
“Our advisors will be working with the founders to discuss business pain points, offer introductions to customers and investors and provide regular therapy sessions and forums to support recipients emotionally and professionally,” says Joey Womack, CEO of Goodie Nation.
“Our goal is to continue innovating and improving our product and partnerships to deliver the best offering to our community of residents and home providers - ensuring we are able to foster a more empathetic relationship between home providers (property managers/landlords) and their residents,” added Ezeugwu. “In today’s culture, relationships are everything, good hospitality and service is expected, and in a digital world, home providers recognize the influence residential reviews have on their business. Residents desire to feel heard, empowered, and confident. By using our platform to share their honest, authentic experiences, residents give home providers invaluable insights that enable them to get more lease renewals, make better informed capital improvement decisions, and receive recognition for being a top home provider in their communities.
Named the “MVP of landlord review sites” by Apartment Therapy, WYL is the first of its kind. With an aim to provide more transparency into the rental/housing space, WYL was created with residents in mind. Historically, the housing industry has put landlords first, asking for more information about renters than they would ever know about their home providers.
At WYL, putting people at the heart of housing means amplifying their voice with a process that takes just a few minutes. And it means ensuring that every home provider-resident interaction is about the person in that home, not just the profit of the space. We’re in the business of empowering people to create homes out of the spaces they live in. And we provide the resources and platform for them to exercise their right to live peacefully in their home.
ABOUT GOOGLE FOR STARTUPS
Google for Startups works to level the playing field for startup founders and communities to succeed by bringing the best of Google’s products, connections, and best practices to startups. Paired with a deep commitment to create diverse startup communities, many of our offerings are designed specifically to provide underrepresented founders with access to resources and opportunities. We support startups everywhere to build something better. Because when startups succeed, we all succeed.