This tennis champion continues to be a boss on and off the court. Serena Williams made Forbes' Richest Self-Made Women list, the global media company announced on June 3. The honor is major for Williams and not only because she was recognized for her hard work that has also earned her top dollar along the way. By claiming a spot on the list, Williams has become the very first athlete to do so.
As Forbes' cover star, the magazine revealed the groundbreaking moment for Williams. The publication noted,
"She's now the first athlete ever to hit Forbes' annual list of the World's Richest Self-Made Women, with an estimated fortune of $225 million, the vast majority of it having come via her brain and brand rather than her backhand."
The 37-year-old hasn't become a multi-millionaire by only playing tennis. Oh, no, she continues to make money and a name for herself in other ways, like by starting Serena Ventures. The company funds and launches other businesses. She told Forbes,
"I want to be a part of it. I want to be in the infrastructure. I want to be the brand, instead of just being the face."
With Serena Ventures, which officially opened its doors in April, she focuses her investments on e-commerce, food, fashion, and health. Those investments include HoneyLove, Tonal, Coinbase, and Lola, among many others. The company also launched Williams' clothing line, S by Serena. Serena Ventures tries to invest mainly in companies founded by women and minorities. According to Forbes, "Yet some 60 percent of Williams’ investments so far have gone to companies led by women or people of color."
She's made sure to surround herself with experts, like Andreessen Horowitz's Chris Lyons, an informal advisor. She also looks to Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg for advice. But, the one person who she constantly bounces ideas off of is her husband, Alexis Ohanian. He, of course, praised his wife's Forbes achievement by calling her an "icon" on both Instagram and Twitter. That's the perfect adjective to describe her in this moment.
She said, "I’ve been really leaning on Alexis." As for her Reddit cofounder husband, he said about Williams, "She is determined to be great at everything she does." He added,
"Firms know Serena is a hugely valuable strategic investor. I think it is the best of all opportunities, and she can essentially cherry-pick from the top VC firms on deals that are interesting that come her way and at the same time she still has her own deal flow from folks who want her to invest."
Williams made it clear that she's in "no rush to get out of" tennis, but as she put it about Serena Ventures,
"I want to create a brand that has longevity, kind of like my career. It’s not fancy, it’s not here, it’s not out, it’s not trendy, it’s a staple, like my tennis game."
It's not surprising the 23 Grand Slam title holder made Forbes' Richest Self-Made Women list. She's a champion in all areas of her life and it's wonderful to see Williams doing so well, all while making history.