Serena Williams’ venture capital firm raised $111 million to invest – BOTWC

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It makes sure to actively finance the future!

Serena Williams’ venture capital firm just raised $111 million to invest in various founders, the firm’s blog reports.

Williams is one of the most renowned tennis players of our time, holding 23 Grand Slam titles and a number of sports-related business ventures including fashion lines and entertainment offerings. Nearly a decade ago, Williams focused on investing, becoming an active angel investor, now having a portfolio of 60 companies that include the online education platform Master classmobile payment service SendWave and healthy artisan food company Daily Harvest.

“I’ve always been fascinated by technology and always loved how it really shapes our lives. When I met my husband, it was our first conversation. That’s how we met. I was talking about investments,” the New York Times reports, telling Williams.

Recently, Williams shifted its focus to funding founders from diverse backgrounds, inspired by a speech from Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker and JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon. It was during the conference that Seidman-Becker mentioned that less than 2% of venture capital funds go to women.

“I went up to her afterwards and said, ‘Tell me about that 2% – I know you may have misspoken. And she says, “No, it’s true”. And I literally couldn’t fathom the fact that 98% of all this money that we’re talking about — billions of dollars — is going to one type of individual,” Williams explained.

In 2019, Williams has partnered with Bumble to invest in more female founders of colortalking about the importance of women entrepreneurs.

“I learned how much impact a woman’s voice can have when given a platform to speak up and be heard. I am passionate about building on this progress and opening doors for women of all backgrounds, especially women of color, to share their message and trust in their potential to achieve great things. By joining forces with the Bumble Fund, we will continue to amplify women entrepreneurs and create a place where they can personally and professionally champion their growth,” Williams previously told reporters.

Now her company, Serena Ventures, has raised an inaugural fund of $111 million to invest in founders with more diverse viewpoints. The company’s only requirement is that founders bring diversity to the market, but to date the majority of founders of portfolio companies come from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

Williams joins a league of celebrities looking to use their platforms and money to ensure diverse demographics have access and opportunities in various industries. Billionaire Robert F. Smith is targeting HBCU students, creating pipeline programs that will prepare them for high-profile careers and recently allocate $1.8 million in micro-grants to cover financial needs that might otherwise prevent students from graduating.

Photo courtesy of Serena Williams

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