On Serena Williams’s calendar—that’s to calendars what Jackson Pollock’s artwork is to artwork—Saturdays are specific family time. The Saturday I’m with her in Rome (she became in New York in advance of the week and can be in Paris the subsequent one) contains greater significance. Exactly four years ago, in that Eternal City, she met her husband, Alexis Ohanian, co-founding father of online network Reddit.
They celebrate, in element, with the sort of trip anyone who’s now not the most famous female athlete in the globe takes without consideration: A walk on a resort lawn with their joint task, 22-month-vintage Olympia, in tow. It’s more romantic than it sounds: The Rome Cavalieri is going so far as to call its 15-acre lawn a “private park,” affected by marble and bronze, lions and unicorns.
The regal environment befits an ancient determination of American recreation, which has 23 Grand Slam titles and has blown away any quantity of barriers and stereotypes. And the unicorns? Ohanian does his element between Reddit and his $500 million funds, Initialized Capital. But it seems that Williams has quietly been playing that game, too.
She’s now the first athlete to hit Forbes’s annual list of the World’s Richest Self-Made Women, with an envisioned fortune of $225 million; the massive majority of it has come through her mind and emblem rather than her backhand. And over the last five years, she’s been quietly losing cash into 34 startups. In April, Williams formally introduced that Serena Ventures is open for commercial enterprises to fund others and release corporations.
Athletes are richer than ever, thanks to the explosion in TV rights fees for stay sporting occasions, which trickle down to gamers. The 50 highest-paid athletes within the international made $2.6 billion in ultimate years, versus $1 billion 15 years in the past. And Williams is rarely the first to place newfound disposable income to lively paintings—inside the NBA on my own, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant have all launched media companies. Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Carmelo Anthony are energetic project capital (VC) buyers. But she is one of the few mainly gearing investments around a single north big name: Herself.