Calling the right shots isn’t hard for Serena Williams.
We have certainly seen her dominate within her sport over the years, but in light of her retirement, Williams’ competitive drive has transferred over to her passion project Serena Ventures.
Williams has remained front and center in her mission to amplify startups by backing their vision through capital alongside Founding General Partner Alison Rapaport Stillman.
Williams’ regrets: The duo seems certain of where to position the investment firm’s dollars. However, despite the wins over the years, they have lucked out of a few opportunities.
During TechCrunch Disrupt, Williams shared one of her regrets in her investing journey. She revealed, during the early stages of Serena Ventures, she did not pursue an opportunity to pump dollars into a French startup. The reason was simply that she “just didn’t have the infrastructure” nor did she have the time, as she was also focused on playing for the French Open.
While Williams didn’t name the startup, she did give hints.
“I won’t mention the name, but there is a company that I was in France, and I just wasn’t set up enough at the time. It was probably year three or four,” Williams said. “I didn’t have Allison, basically, at the time. And there was this amazing company, and I met them, and I really wanted to actually invest. And it wasn’t that I passed on them. It was that I just wasn’t set up. What I took from that is that I knew it was going to be a good company, and I wanted to invest in it, and it was before people were doing ride shares.”
Additionally, Stillman chimed in and revealed the pair had turned down a Series B funding round for Instacart, admitting it would have been a great fit.
Arguably, Serena Ventures’ wins certainly outweigh missed opportunities as they are now a well-positioned player in the investment arena.
In 2022, Serena Ventures announced the raising of its inaugural $111 million fund.