Tennis superstar Serena Williams has been quietly building a venture capital portfolio since 2014, amassing investments in more than 30 startups with an accumulated market cap of $12 billion. On Wednesday, she finally announced her business to the public.
Williams chose to reveal five-year-old Serena Ventures on Instagram, where she has 11 million followers. In a post, she admits “Yes, I know I can keep a secret.”
The winner of an Open Era record 23 grand slam singles titles, Williams, who serves as president of Serena Ventures, said she launched the investment company with the mission of giving opportunity to founders across an array of industries that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity.
She focuses on early stage companies that have a difficult time cracking into that initial round of funding. One of the pillars of the organization is to give those startups an opportunity to be heard.
“As we grow, we hope to mentor young founders and take burgeoning entrepreneurs to the next level,” she writes on her website. “We have so many exciting things coming up!”
Her VC firm helps forge relationships for founders, encourages collaboration among portfolio companies, and expands partnership opportunities across her network. Among its portfolio companies are blockchain exchange Coinbase, education platform MasterClass, on-demand fitness training platform Tonal and nutrition company Olly.
Powerhouse athletes continue to break new ground in technology and investment. Williams is among many top-tier athletes that have partnered with VCs, launched their own investment companies, or individually invested and/or founded technology startups. A staunch advocate of women’s empowerment—Williams appeared in a Super Bowl spot for dating app Bumble earlier this year in which she encouraged girls to “make the first move … in work, in love, in life”—she joins such athletic greats as Kobe Bryant, via Bryant Stibel, and Magic Johnson, via Magic Johnson Enterprises, that own and operate their own venture capital firms.