Venus Williams has received backing from some heavy hitters for her plant-based superfood nutrition company.
According to a press release, Happy Viking has raised $2 million in an investment round led by Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman’s 35V, Peloton Vice President of Fitness Programming Robin Arzón, professional golfer Michelle Wie West, soccer champion Megan Rapinoe, tennis star Reilly Opelka, and basketball stars Isaiah Hartenstein and Collin Sexton.
Participating investors also included Mates, Talent Resources Ventures, Parallel, and Oliver Trevena.
“Venus is an incredible entrepreneur, and in getting to know her and the team she’s put together behind Happy Viking, it was clear to Kevin Durant and I that the company has set itself up for success. No one understands the health and nutrition space like a professional athlete, and Happy Viking is proof in product form,” said Kleiman, according to a press release.
An Autoimmune Disease Sparked Venus' Interests In Plant-Based Nutrition
Venus launched the company after learning she had Sjogren’s Syndrome. The autoimmune rheumatic disease attacks the body and the most common symptoms include fatigue, dry mouth, and dry eyes. Following her diagnosis, Venus started probing plant-based nutrition options. The tennis star recognized a difference in her mind, body, and performance. She then wanted to create the same results for others.
“When I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, I became obsessed with doing research and exploring superfood ingredients that helped with my recovery. I would experiment with different recipes until I found a combination that tasted great, improved my health and allowed me to get back to tennis. I’ve seen first-hand what the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet has done for my body and performance. With Happy Viking, I want to give everyone the opportunity to be healthy, feel good, and live their dreams. I’m so excited to have these other world-class athletes on board to support our mission,” said Venus Williams, according to a press release.
How The Funding Will Accelerate Venus' Efforts
With the new funding, Venus Williams will accelerate her efforts to have further outreach for more people to be exposed to the pros of plant-based foods. In addition, Venus plans to expand Happy Viking’s existing portfolio by launching new products.