Business

Tennis star Serena Williams has launched a venture firm for investing in women, people of color, and young entrepreneurs

Business Insider US
Serena Williams
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
  • Serena Williams, one of the top tennis players, has publicly launched a venture fund called Serena Ventures.
  • The venture-capital 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.
  • Visit the Business Insider South Africa homepage for more stories.

The 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 venture-capital 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 said, 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 the only other employee besides Williams. Rapaport, a former asset manager at JPMorgan, will oversee the fund's portfolio and new investments.

Serena Ventures' investments span numerous industries, including food, health and wellness, e-commerce, and fashion. Its portfolio includes female-centric companies such as the coworking startup the Wing and the razor brand Billie; the customized organic baby food-delivery subscription service Little Spoon and meal-delivery services Daily Harvest and Gobble; the online-course provider MasterClass; the in-home connected fitness company Tonal; and the tampon subscription service LOLA.

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