American tennis superstar, Serena Williams is an Andela investor!
The tennis star recently revealed her very own venture capital firm, Serena Ventures on her Instagram page. Apparently she has secretly being investing in startups across the world over the last four years. And Nigeria’s developer trainer and outsourcing company, Andela is one of her notable investments.
The news is quite surprising. Particularly because every Andela funding round since the $40 million investment by Zuckerberg Foundation, has been publicly announced. There was no record or statement mentioning a Serena Ventures.
Serena really did an awesome job keeping the portfolio secret.
According to her, Serena Ventures was founded in 2014. And it is on a “mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries.” The firm invests “companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity”.
Since its founding, the firm has invested in 30 startups so far. That’s a lot of investments!
Her disclosure had us thinking about other celebrities and sports personalities doing startup investing.
And of course, celebrities and sports figures are already well known for flaunting their wealth and living lavishly. But you would not believe how many of them are investing in promising companies and startups.
35 year old Andre is one of the biggest names in the NBA. He plays as a Shooting Guard for the now dominant Golden State Warriors. But Andre, whose father is Nigerian, is not all sports as he also has a penchant for tech investing. His record is so loud that Bloomberg has made him headline their Players Technology Summit, a gathering of sports figures and tech investors.
Andre has invested in Facebook, Tesla and Twitter. Most recently, he was named on the Board of African ecommerce company, Jumia.
New York born rap legend, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, famously known as Nas, is a serious Silicon Valley investor. He founded QueensBridge Venture Partners a few years ago. Since then, he has invested in companies like Lyft and Dropbox. Last year, two of his portfolio companies, Ring and PillPack, were acquired by Amazon for $1 billion each. He cashed out heavily when these happened.
Hakeem Seriki, better known as Chamillionaire, disappeared from the hip hop scene few years after releasing his Grammy-award winning single, Ridin. But he didn’t go broke or into oblivion. He went into startup investing. In 2015 he joined one of Los Angeles’ biggest VC companies, Upfront Ventures. Two of his portfolios were acquired by General Motors and Disney for over $1 billion.
Not Many Celebrity Investors in Nigerian Startups
These are a few celebrities doing great in the venture investing field. Unfortunately, not a lot of the celebrities are investing in Nigerian startups though. It’s probably for the same reason why high net-worth individuals from Nigeria have rarely invested in startups.
Perhaps they’re being secretive as Serena or they’re still paying too much attention to investments in real estate. Regardless though, the Jumia IPO should have made it clear that they need to consider investing in Nigerian startups.
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