Serena Williams Starts Investment Firm

Her all-woman top-management reflects her investment ethos of putting women and minorities first

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

While off court, Tennis superstar Serena Williams has been working hard with her new found passion: venture capitalism. She started her own firm, and has already raised $111 million, according to one of her tweets. “We invest in women, we invest in women of color, we invest in people of color,” she describes her investment ethos, are reported by People magazine. “A lot of these companies talk about diversity, but they just talk about it. It’s because it’s a good subject that they bring up, but they don’t really do a lot of things about it. And so at Serena Ventures we do, we talk about it. We be about it.” This women-first and minority first ethos is reflected in her all-woman top-management team. Her firm has invested and mentored many women- and minority-owned businesses. They provided $3 million in initial money to support Wile, a hormonal health brand, which launched its products at Whole Foods in May 2022. They also backed a Black-owned retail fraud detection, prevention, and data services firm named Lillii — which short for “Let’s Imagine Life with Ladies In IT.” 

Serena Williams with Alison Rapaport Stillman, general partner at Serena Ventures firm. Photo courtesy of Serena Ventures.

In an interview with People magazine, Serena says she splits her typical day between tennis, her venture capital firm, and her mom duties. “Now when I prepare for a tournament, I practice in the morning, I take VC calls in the afternoon and then I spend time with Olympia, and that didn’t happen five years ago,” she said. Serena has been among the most business-minded athletes in sports. She has previously launched an apparel and footwear businesses, as well as other well-known sponsorships. The seven-time Wimbledon champion said she established Serena Ventures in part to increase diversity in the venture capital industry and provide possibilities for businesses that would find it challenging to enter other organizations.

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