TechInAfrica – Afro-American tennis player, Serena Williams, has officially launched her venture capital—Serena Ventures—that she has kept the secret from the public for five years. She launched the venture capital in 2015 aiming at offering opportunities to founders from various industries.
She announced it on her Instagram and his husband, Alexis Ohanian added that she has also secretly backed several remarkable startups, including Coinbase and Andela. On her VC firm’s website, it’s said that the portfolio size stands at 30 companies.
Speaking about Andela, it’s an African software talent recruitment startup. Its latest raise of $100 million was announced in January this year. Overall, Andela’s total funding raised to $181 million, making it the most VC funded private company in the past 10 years.
There is an increasing number of angel investors in African startups. Some of them include the CEO of Y Combinator, Michael Seibel. He financially backed some of the African startups that participated in Y Combinator accelerator.
Besides Serena Williams, another celebrity who joins the African tech space is Don Jazzy. He co-founded the Wi-Fi services startup, Flobyt. His initiative was followed by South African celebrity, DJ Nkosinathi Maphumulo who is famous as DJ Black Coffee. He joined South Africa’s Sweepsouth’s Series A, the on-demand cleaning services startup.
The growing interest in backing African startups is good news for the industry. However, there’s still more room for celebrities or other famous people to invest in the African tech industry. As entrepreneurship and innovation are growing in Africa, startups will need much of their help to scale and fund their operations.