Serena Williams has made history as the first athlete to appear on Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Richest Self-Made Women, the vast majority of of her fortune coming via her brain and brand rather than her backhand. Over the past five years, Serena has been quietly dropping money into 34 startups.
In April, Williams formally announced that Serena Ventures is open for business, to fund others and launch companies herself.
Serena is one of the few specifically gearing investments around herself.
“I want to be a part of it,” she says, “I want to be in the infrastructure. I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face.” Given her longtime background in style and design, fashion lines, jewelry and beauty products that means she isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Williams also announced that Serena Ventures sprung up from the need to start and invest in other businesses. According to Forbes, at Serena Ventures, she focuses on companies founded by women and minorities, about 60% of Williams’ investments so far have gone to companies led by women or people of color. “What better way to preach that message?” asks Williams.
For Serena, as a business mogul she tries to put money in deals where her fame and brand and platform grow most. As one of the better product endorsers of this century, it’s something she’s honed in ways that most celebrities have not.
While she’s finding success in her investments, Serena stated, “I am in no rush to get out of [tennis],” adding, “I want to create a brand that has longevity, kind of like my career. It’s not fancy, it’s not here, it’s not out, it’s not trendy, it’s a staple, like my tennis game.”
Culled from Forbes