How good are you in keeping secrets?
Well, Serena Williams is five times better. She is the queen on the tennis court, the best mother to her daughter and has been secretly building up her venture capital firm on the sidelines as well. Imagine starting a company and keeping it a secret for five years!
Williams started Serena Ventures with Alison J Rapaport (former asset manager at JP Morgan) in 2014 but has only just revealed details about it. On the website, Williams is listed as the President while Rapaport is Vice President in the company. Rapaport will be overseeing the portfolio and will be leading the sourcing out process.
The 23-grand slam winner took to her Instagram page and revealed details about her firm that focuses on early-stage investments in companies led by women, people of color and those that value ‘individual empowerment’ and creativity.
In the last five years, Serena Ventures has backed 30 companies that span food, health & wellness, e-commerce, and fashion, including meal delivery service Daily Harvest and Gobble, women’s razor brand Billie and one of Africa’s best-known start-ups, Andela. The firm will also focus on mentoring young founders and emerging entrepreneurs.
“I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries,” Williams said in her announcement on Instagram
Serena Williams was voted the highest paid athlete in 2018. She has an impressive portfolio of endorsements which includes Nike, Intel, Audemars Piguet, JP Morgan Chase, Lincoln, Gatorade, and Beats. Selena has also launched her own clothing line ‘Serena’ in May 2018. She happens to be a board member of PoshMark and SurveyMonkey as well.
With the tennis ace dividing her time between sports and entrepreneurship, we can only imagine the future of this amazing woman.