Serena Williams prepares a new fund for startups and wants to invest in Brazil

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The manager created by the tennis player manages 111 million dollars and will raise new funds, focusing on Latin America

Serena Williams, one of the greatest tennis players in history, wants to invest in Brazil. After winning 23 Grand Slam tournaments and four Olympic gold medals, the sportswoman created a fund manager, Serena Ventures, who announced her first fund, worth $ 111 million, in March. preparing another. “I am very interested in investing Africato Latin America and the Brazil it would be an excellent goal “.

The manager will be making a new round of funding soon, Serena said. And resources can reach the Brazilian market and other countries in the region, looking for, for example, projects led by women and blacks. “We don’t want to be a manager who has been doing the same thing for 100 years,” said the sportswoman. Her desire is to “open doors and open new paths”. Therefore, she does not intend to invest only in United States of America and already has companies from Africa in its portfolio.

The manager created by the tennis player manages 111 million dollars and will raise new funds, focusing on Latin America Photo: Loren Elliott / Reuters-14/2/2021

Serena came to Brazil to attend an event of the XP with investors held last Thursday. In a packed auditorium, you said you took your first steps in the investment world 9 years ago.

He said that whenever he was on the tennis courts or watched games, he paid attention to sponsors and wondered why he couldn’t invest in these companies. He thus began studying in San Francisco and meeting companies, mainly startups, to try to get to know the business world better.

Serena said that, at the time, she didn’t even know what was called “early stage” in a company and ended up making bad investments. “But I ended up learning a lot about due diligence (analyzing a company’s accounts) and the importance of informing yourself before making an investment,” said the tennis player.

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Serena Ventures invests in early stage companies through a venture capital fund. “About four years ago, maybe five, I decided to launch Serena Ventures.” The manager, who describes himself as a non-traditional investment firm, aims to invest in “neglected, undervalued and incipient markets”.

As in sports, Serena said the world of investing is similar. “It takes a lot of dedication”. In over 30 years of tennis career, you have claimed to have contacts that are now useful for business.

Women

At a JPMorgan event in Miami, Serena said she found that less than 2% of venture capital funds went to companies owned by women. “And we’re talking about billions and billions of dollars, maybe even trillions. At the time, I thought this couldn’t be true and I wanted to verify.”

After realizing the statistic was real, Serena said she thought she was changing that story. “The way to change this statistic is to have a black woman write checks to other women. Men like to write checks to other men,” the tennis player said.

Serena Ventures has already invested in 60 companies, 13 of which are unicorns (startups worth over $ 1 billion). Of the manager’s portfolio, 68% comes from companies founded by women, many of them black. “People talk a lot about inclusion and diversity. We invest in everyone.”

Still in the manager’s portfolio, 76% are under-represented entrepreneurs in American society: 47% are black and 12% Latin American. One of the initiatives, Infinite Objects has created a kind of picture frame that actually transmits a permanent video, as an idea of ​​taking these images from cell phones and laptops to fit, for example, on a shelf or table.

In other sectors, the manager currently invests in food, education, finance, crypto companies, as well as initiatives focused on climate and sport.

Source: Terra

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