Serena Ventures, which is run by Serena Williams, has announced the launch of its first $111 million funds.
The fund will be used to power early-stage firms, according to a blog post and press release announcement. Serena Ventures’ continuous commitment to creating additional firms is based on its previous success of 13 unicorns and six exits, as well as its nine years of investment experience.
The DNA business 23andMe, which is a limited partner in the venture capital fund, issued a statement expressing its optimism for the future.
“I have been so impressed with Serena Ventures and the extraordinary mentorship and support they provide entrepreneurs,” said Anne Wojcicki, CEO & Co-Founder of 23andMe. “Serena has built an exceptional team of diverse experts with branding expertise and strategic advice to help founders as they navigate building their companies. With unique backgrounds and experiences, Serena Ventures brings an incredible network — a network of which I am honored to be a part. I am excited to support their growth.”
The initial fund was backed by Ariel Investments, Norwest, Capital G, Kapor Foundation, and Liontree, among others, according to the release.
“The venture capital ecosystem needs an inclusive player with the platform necessary to enact change at scale, and this fund gives us an opportunity to take our mission to the next level,” read the statement. “The best is yet to come.”
While this is Serena Ventures’ first fund, the company has previously invested in early-stage firms. According to AfroTech, the company has invested in HUED and the Indonesian coffee company Kopi Kenangan.
Serena Ventures, which was launched in 2014, is a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage entrepreneurs, according to CrunchBase. 27 of its 47 investments are diversity investments, with names like Nude Barre, Esusu, and Every Mother among others.