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Serena Williams: The Venture Continues

She’s dominated on the tennis court for 20 years. And through VC firm Serena Ventures, the GOAT has plans to continue making serious moves long after her athletic career wraps.

Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes in history, period — no qualifiers based on sport, gender, or anything else under the sun. She’s just the GOAT, and it doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.

The global tennis superstar has been a highly visible, utterly dominant presence at the top of the game of tennis for more than two decades, and has balanced that status with a growing portfolio of off-the-court business pursuits ranging from fashion to crypto to financial services to entertainment and beyond.

And through her namesake VC firm, Serena Ventures, she has designs on expanding her impact even wider in 2022 no matter what the future holds for the tail end of her singular tennis career.

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Serena Williams’ Earnings & Investments

  • Career tennis earnings: $94.5 million
  • Estimated net worth: $210 million
  • Key endorsements: Nike, Gatorade, Wilson, Pepsi, Lincoln, Intel, Beats by Dre
  • Major investments: Miami Dolphins, Daily Harvest, Bumble Fund, UFC, Bitski (with Jay-Z)
  • Signed a programming deal with Amazon Studios in April 2021
  • Involved with 13 charities, including Build African Schools, UNICEF and the Serena Williams Fund

Career Accomplishments

Singles record: 855–152 (84.9%)
Doubles record: 190–34 (84.8%)
Mixed doubles record: 27–4 (87.1%)

Grand Slam singles titles: 23
Grand Slam doubles titles: 14
Grand Slam mixed doubles titles: 2
Olympic medals: 4 (4 gold)

Business Milestones

  • Forbes’ second-highest earning female athlete in 2021 at $41.5 million
  • Member of Poshmark’s Board of Directors
  • Created a collection of handbags and jewelry, Signature Select, for Home Shopping Network in 2009; presented that collection at 2014 New York Fashion Week
  • Founded early-stage VC firm Serena Ventures in 2014
  • Co-executive producer of 2021 film King Richard; generated $27 million in worldwide box office revenue to date
  • Contributed to $1 million startup investment at the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic’s pitch competition for HBCU students and alumni

Following its founding eight years ago, Serena Ventures has made early-stage investments in over 30 companies across multiple industries, though she has been involved in notable off-court deals as far back as the early 2000s.

She attributes much of her success to her father, “King” Richard Williams. In a 2020 interview with NBC News, she explained how her father taught her and her sister, Venus, how to be financially responsible:

At a young age, it was instilled in me that I shouldn’t splurge. I remember going to parks and playing tennis with my dad and he’d say, ‘Athletes always lose their money.’ He made it clear that as an athlete, there was a risk of losing what you earned. I think this idea rings true no matter what you do. As a result, the concept of saving money stuck with me throughout my career. Even early on, I remained focused on the fact that when I earned money, I needed to be mindful of how those dollars were either spent, invested, or saved.”

As with her contribution to the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic, Williams invests in opportunities that benefit communities and individuals that often lack visibility and access. Serena Ventures portfolio company Every Mother, for example, specializes in therapeutic exercises to correct diastasis recti — an abdominal muscle separation that affects many women during the course of pregnancy. Another portfolio company, SoLo Funds, provides a community marketplace for borrowers and lenders to help one another on their own terms rather than having to turn to high-interest payday loan agencies.

Serena Williams is a pillar of inspiration across the sporting landscape, as well as a role model and groundbreaker for Black women and young dreamers all over. She is truly a self-made GOAT — but through it all, she’s found ways to keep others in mind, providing a source of inspiration and empowerment and blazing new trails for them to follow.

And in 2022 and beyond, the story remains the same. Whether for Serena the athlete or Serena the investor, there’s always another venture.

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