Startups & VCs

Serena Williams reveals venture capital firm ownership

Tennis icon has invested in more than 30 early stage companies since 2014.

by Sam Carp

Serena Williams reveals venture capital firm ownership

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.