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Serena Williams Wants to Conquer Wall Street

Serena Williams revolutionized tennis—that much is unquestioned. With her sister and fellow superstar Venus beside her and father Richard behind them both, Williams went on to transform the way the world looks at tennis stars. Having now put her racket down, she has moved on to the world of finance and started her own venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. But this time, she’s doing it all on her own. On the latest episode of The Deal with Alex Rodriguez and Jason Kelly, Williams explains just how these early financial lessons formed the basis of success in her second act. In tennis, Williams is widely regarded as the greatest of all time. In business, she exudes similar ambition for her growing business empire. Williams says she’s built a team that she trusts while staying intimately involved with every major decision. Diving into the details is something she’s known for—Williams was literally at the table for her first big shoe endorsement deal, with Puma. Serena Ventures has invested in more than 20 companies in its first fund, and that’s in addition to the dozens of angel investments Williams has made. She’s also focused much of the firm’s energy on investing in companies run by traditionally underrepresented founders, especially women and people of color. (Only 2% of venture capital goes to companies led solely by women, while just 1% goes to firms with Black founders.)

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The Deal