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Tennis star Serena Williams invests in 14 unicorns
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Tennis star Serena Williams invests in 14 unicorns

Welcome to our #232 weekly newsletter.

“For women taking control of their financial future”

-Jana Hlistova


From The Purse


In this week’s newsletter, we focus on tennis star Serena Williams and her venture firm which has invested in 85 startups, 14 of which have since achieved unicorn status.

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And you can review the news in brief so you stay on top of global financial, economic and investing trends.

I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter.

Until next week,

Jana


Tennis star Serena Williams invests in 14 unicorns

Serena Ventures funds female and diverse founders in underserved and underfunded markets. Out of 85 investments, 14 startups have achieved unicorn status.


It's a good idea to have a 'Plan B'.

In the case of Serena Williams, considered one the greatest tennis players of all time, setting up a venture capital fund was it.

Aptly named "Serena Ventures", her VC firm is on a mission to champion diverse, creative founders who are changing the world with their ideas and products across a wide array of industries.

And as she told us in her Tik Tok video recently, 14 of the companies she invested in have reached unicorn status ie they are valued at $1bn+, since she launched the fund in 2014.

Today, Serena's VC firm has invested in 85 startups, 79% are underrepresented founders, 54% are women, 47% at Black and 11% are Latinx.

Less than 2% of VC funding goes to women...

...even though women make up more than 50% of the global population, make 85% of all consumer purchasing decisions and tend to be the CFO of their household.

In other words, there is an entire economy which mostly white male VC investors are ignoring, oftentimes addressed by the products and services introduced by female and diverse founders.

But wait for it, this VC statistic is even more dire for black women:

in 2021, 0.34% of VC money was directed to their startups. And this figure increased only marginally from 0.27% in 2018.

In an op-ed published in 2020 on the CNN website, Serena commented:

“Without the network necessary to raise critical starting capital, most Black female founders close shop before their product even reaches the market. By building exclusive spaces and systems, we are missing out on the innovation and genius of so many..”

Silicon Valley, therefore, does not have a talent pipeline problem; it has a network selectivity and resource allocation problem.

Wise words, Serena.

But she's not stopping there...Serena has a Plan C, Plan D, Plan...

..On 4 April, she launched a new make-up brand called "Wyn Beauty" you can move in.

And she is one of the female investors who backed the US 'Angel City Football Club' (which may now be on sale) along with other female investors including actress Natalie Portman and retired US football player, Abby Wambach.

Even Serena's daughter is a 'co-owner'.

Investing in Serena's daughter and her future by setting her up as an investor early, might just be the the Ultimate Plan-we love it!

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We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with Jana via the The Purse website or tweet @jointhepurse and janicka. We do no provide investment advice. Please do your own research or speak to a financial adviser.

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