Life After Tennis: Serena Williams Is A Force In Venture Capital

Serena Williams at Balmain RTW Fall 2024 as part of Paris Ready to Wear Fashion Week held at Pavillon Cambon on February 28, 2024 in Paris, France.

Serena Williams at Balmain RTW Fall 2024 as part of Paris Ready to Wear Fashion Week held at Pavillon Cambon on February 28, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images


Mar. 19 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Tennis phenomenon Serena Williams has a legacy in the sport that is unmatched. With 23 grand slam titles and four Olympic Gold medals in 26 years, Williams is considered the best in the sport. In addition, she has shined as an entrepreneur, feminist advocate, and philanthropist. Once the tennis champion decided to bid the sport farewell in September 2022, fans questioned where her next career move would take her. 

It’s no secret that the 42-year-old has a lengthy resume — from endorsement deals in the beverage, luxury fashion, sports, and pharmaceutical companies to creating multimedia company Nine Two Six Productions.

Moreover, Williams has followed suit with some of her celebrity peers by joining the technology world via venture capital investing. Keep reading to get the rundown on how the tennis champion is impacting the community.

///Serena Williams at the Pre GRAMMY Gala held at The Beverly Hilton on February   in Los Angeles x
Source: Gilbert Flores/Billboard/Getty Images

Serena Williams at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala held at The Beverly Hilton on Feb. 3, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.

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Venture Capital Firm

It’s no secret that the technology field is tough for women to navigate. Per Harvard, “female founders receive approximately a quarter of the amount of funding they seek, while their male counterparts receive half, on average.”

In fact, the outlet shares that these women only receive 2.4% of venture capital investments. As someone who champions the success of fellow women, Serena decided to use her resources to turn the tide. In 2019, Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm, was born. Serena Ventures is already an active Angel investor with a vast portfolio of over 60 startups, most of which are female-run.

“If I can…introduce these women with great companies to other people, I feel like, wow, we can make a little bit more noise,” the athlete told Adweek.

Some big names backed by Serena ventures include Coinbase, Tonal, Lola, Brandless, and Billie. Considering the risk involved with early-stage startups, Serena has assembled a team of Silicon Valley mentors such as Jill Smoller, Chris Lyons, Patrick Mouratoglou, and the man the tennis legend is married to — Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

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Heavy Support Of Black Women Entrepreneurs

Serena Ventures provides 60% of its investments to female and minority business founders. This makes the 2.8% of total venture capital investments provided for women-founded startups in the US in 2019 (keeping in mind that that figure dropped to 2.3% in 2020) look insignificant.

In 2022, Serena Ventures raised an inaugural fund of $111 million that will be used to back diverse points of view, per The New York Times.

Serena Williams’ venture capital firm strives to give a voice to early-stage women-founded companies. The tennis legend has used her platform to positively impact the lives of Black women by actively addressing issues such as the gender pay gap and the double standards in sports. 

In a field where some women shy away from due to gender and racial disparities, Serena has given many businesswomen hope for the future. That said, we can expect to see Serena build upon her success in the venture investing world and aid future startup companies. 

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