AP Photo/Kin Cheung
- Serena Williams, one of the top tennis players in the world, has publicly launched a venture fund called Serena Ventures.
- The VC firm focuses on early-stage investments in companies led by women and people of color, and those that value "individual empowerment" and creativity.
- Serena Ventures has already invested in more than 30 companies, including The Wing, Masterclass, and Brandless.
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Tennis superstar Serena Williams has found time to pick up a side gig — on top of winning championships and taking care of her adorable daughter, that is.
The tennis legend publicly shared on Wednesday the details of her investment firm, called Serena Ventures. The VC firm has been quietly backing companies since 2014, and has invested in more than 30 companies already.
"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 Ventures was created to give opportunities to a diverse set of founders, the firm says, particularly women and people of color. Investments will go into early stage companies that value "individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity," according to the company’s website.
Additionally, the investment firm will work to mentor young founders and emerging entrepreneurs.
The website for Serena Ventures lists Alison Rapaport as the vice president of the firm, and currently the only other employee besides Williams. Rapaport, a former asset manager at JP Morgan, will oversee the fund’s portfolio and new investments.
Serena Ventures’ investments span numerous industries, including food, health and wellness, e-commerce, and fashion. The portfolio includes female-centric companies like coworking startup The Wing and razor brand Billie; meal delivery services Daily Harvest and Gobble; online course provider MasterClass; in-home connected fitness company Tonal; and tampon subscription service LOLA.
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