Serena Williams is a famous tennis player. She has made recent headlines for her venture capital fund, Serena Ventures, raising $111 million. The focus of the fund is to invest in “founders with diverse points of view”. This is reflected in the portfolio of Serena Ventures, in which 76% of founders came from underrepresented backgrounds. She is in business with Alison Rapaport (formerly J.P. Morgan, Wasserman and Melo7Tech Ventures), and has been investing since 2014. Serena Williams is to keep her start-up investments separate from that of her husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.
Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams met in 2015 in a café in Italy. Since then, they have been married, and have had a daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. They have launched their own business ventures, and the two have found each other to be inspirations. Both have been bullish on cryptocurrency. Williams invested in Nestcoin, a Nigerian start-up. The goal of this is to help promote crypto adoption in Africa and promoting the use of web 3.0 technologies. She has also focused investments on other FinTech companies, such as Propel and Cointracker. It manages a portfolio of over 60 angel investments, thirteen of which are unicorns.
Serena Williams has long focused on improving diversity and promoting on breaking social barriers for women and people of colour. She has the Serena Williams Fund, which aids underprivileged individuals and communities, ensuring equal access to education for the youth. She told the New York Times that she was baffled that less than 2% of venture money goes to female founders, stating: “I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that 98 per cent of all of this money we’re talking about — billions of dollars — goes to one type of individual.” Her ventures, and others like it, will hopefully change this!