Global tennis icon Serena Williams has invested in leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase through her Serena Ventures fund. The move subsequently represents her first publicly declared investment in the sector.
Williams, one of the most successful tennis players of all time, disclosed her investment in a post on Instagram. She also revealed a number of firms that have benefited from her support.
The tennis star set up her investment fund, Serena Ventures, back in 2014. Its aim is to provide a discreet vehicle for Williams to invest in promising companies. In addition to Coinbase, Williams has invested in a number of other startups. These include clothing, women’s health, food and fitness-based ventures.
The investment in Coinbase can therefore be seen as a tentative commitment to the future of the cryptocurrency sector. In her post to Instagram, Williams then explained that the fund invests in companies that combine diverse leadership with promising commercial opportunity.
“In 2014, (yes I know I can keep a secret) I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries. Serena Ventures invests in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity.”
According to the Serena Ventures website, the fund has invested in some 30 different companies, with a total market cap exceeding $12 billion. It remains unclear how much the fund has invested in Coinbase, or in which round of funding the investment was raised.
The investment from Serena Williams’ fund is the latest example of cryptocurrency crossing over into the investment mainstream. In so doing, the fund now joins multiple other different investors in backing the firm.
Coinbase has been a major beneficiary of VC funding since its seed round back in 2012. To date, the firm has raised in excess of $546 million from investors over a number of funding rounds. The latest, raising $300 million in 2018, valued the company at $8 billion.
The investment in Coinbase echoes similar support shown by Williams’ husband and Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian. The latter invested in the company during earlier rounds through his VC firm Initialized Capital.