US tennis superstar Serena Williams has become the latest athlete to announce her own venture capital firm.
In a post on her official Instagram account, the 23-time Grand Slam winner revealed that Serena Ventures has quietly been investing in a variety of startups since 2014.
The firm’s website counts 30 startups in its portfolio with an accumulated market capitalisation of US$12 billion. The early stage companies already listed span a number of industries including food, health and wellness, ecommerce and fashion.
Among the startups that the investment vehicle has already backed are meal-delivery services Daily Harvest and Gobble, home fitness system Tonal, women’s razor brand Billie, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, female coworking startup the Wing, and Propel, which offers financial software for low-income Americans.
Serena Ventures’ website states that the company invests in firms that ‘embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity’, a mission which was echoed in Williams’ Instagram post.
Williams is listed as president of Serena Ventures, and has brought on Alison Rapaport, formerly of J P Morgan, to oversee the portfolio and lead the sourcing process.
According to Forbes, Williams was the highest paid female athlete in 2018, bringing in US$18.1 million thanks to an unmatched endorsement portfolio which includes deals with Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JPMorgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade and Beats.