The 23-time grand slam winner has revealed in her Instagram post what she has been doing for last five years -- invest in early-stage businesses through her venture capital firm Serena Ventures.
Ace tennis star Serena Williams, who has been a leader in the court for years, is also busy off the court to create some leaders — in the startup world. The 23-time grand slam winner has revealed in her Instagram post what she has been doing for the last five years — invest in early-stage businesses through her venture capital firm Serena Ventures. In India too, a host of celebrities, though not via a fund, have backed startups such as Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Shilpa Shetty, Mahesh Bhupathi, A.R Rahman, Madhuri Dixit etc.
“In 2014, (yes I know I can keep a secret) I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries. Serena Ventures invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity,” said Serena Williams on Instagram.
The fund has so far invested in over 30 companies with a total market cap of more than $12 billion — all this in last five years without much fanfare or big announcements.
Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tyra Banks, Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher are among the famous celebrity startup investors in Hollywood.
Serena Williams brought on-board former J.P Morgan top executive Alison Rapaport to oversee the fund’s portfolio and the sourcing process for Ventures at the fund that she launched with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries and “invest in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity,” the fund said.
Serena Williams shares further details on the fund’s website saying “As we grow, we hope to mentor young founders and take burgeoning entrepreneurs to the next level. Serena Ventures extends relationships, encourages collaboration among portfolio companies, and expands partnership opportunities across my vast network.”
The fund’s portfolio includes startups across industries including fashion, e-commerce, food etc., such as shaving subscription startup Billie; healthy food delivery startup Daily Harvest; coworking startup The Wing online classes provider MasterClass; fitness startup Tonal etc.