Serena Williams is evolving from tennis to VC

The athlete discussed her upcoming retirement from the sport in an essay for Vogue.
Serena Williams discussed how she's spending more time looking at companies' decks than tennis balls.
Serena Williams discussed how she's spending more time looking at companies' decks than tennis balls.
Photo: Dylan Buell (Getty Images)
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Serena Williams is preparing to say goodbye to tennis, the sport she dominated for over 25 years as a pro, and dedicate herself to her business and her family.

Williams reflected on her career and legacy in an essay published in Vogue magazine’s September issue, hinting that her retirement from tennis might be just a few weeks away—but without committing to a specific date or final event.

“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams wrote.

She said her future plans include a focus on family life and her role as founder and managing partner of Serena Ventures, the investment firm she launched in 2014 to focus on growing early-stage startups. Williams wrote about the excitement she feels working with her six-person, remote-based team, and poring over decks of companies she’s considering investing in.

Online learning platform Masterclass, plant-based food pioneer Impossible Foods, and nutritional app Noom are some of the businesses Serena Ventures has recently backed. She’s just getting started: this year, her firm announced raising $111 million for its inaugural fund.

Serena Williams attends The 2019 Met Gala.
Serena Williams at the 2019 Met Gala.
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue (Getty Images)


Someone who looks like me needs to start writing the big checks. Sometimes like attracts like. Men are writing those big checks to one another, and in order for us to change that, more people who look like me need to be in that position, giving money back to themselves. —Serena Williams

American tennis player Serena Williams kisses her trophy after winning the US open in 1999.
Serena Williams was just 17 when she won the US Open in 1999.
Photo: Jamie Squire/Allsport (Getty Images)

Serena Williams’s tennis career, by the digits

4: Olympic gold medals, three of which were won in doubles competitions along with her sister Venus

17: Age at which she won her first US Open, in 1999

23: Grand Slam titles to her name

73: Singles titles won so far

186: Consecutive weeks ranked as Women’s Tennis Association’s number one player (out of a career total of 319)

$94,588,910: Total winnings

Serena Williams poses with the Daphne Akhurst Trophy after winning the Women's Singles Final against Venus Williams of the United States on day 13 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.
Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus to lift the Australian Open trophy in 2017.
Photo: Clive Brunskill (Getty Images)

Fun fact

When Williams won the Australian Open in January 2017, she was two months’ pregnant with her daughter Olympia.

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