Serena Ventures News
Serena Ventures News
Serena Ventures News

NEWS

Get an inside look at Serena Ventures, from our founders and investments to special projects and events.

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YC-BACKED FINTECH NUMIDA RAISES $12.3M LED BY SERENA VENTURES TO EXTEND LOANS TO MSMEs BEYOND UGANDA

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across Africa make up the bulk — over 90% — of businesses in the continent but are still marginalized in accessing credit from formal institutions because of the nature of their operations. To bridge the gap, Uganda-based fintech Numida has opted to focus its digital lending business on small enterprises as part of its strategy for driving financial inclusion in emerging markets.
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JUSTINE SKYE TAPS INTO THE $13B WIG INDUSTRY STARTING WITH A COLLECTION UNDER PARFAIT, A BLACK-OWNED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WIG BRAND

Justine Skye is tapping into the $13 billion wig industry with the help of Parfait, a Black-owned artificial intelligence wig brand. The singer will be launching a line in partnership with Parfait to bring you the best wigs in the game.
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ALISON STILLMAN, SERENA WILLIAMS' CO-INVESTOR, SHARES WHAT COMES NEXT FOR THE ATHLETE’S VENTURE FIRM

“I feel like I go to sleep getting messages from her and wake up getting messages from her,” says Alison Rapaport Stillman, who is Serena Ventures’ general partner. “Nothing’s going to replace what tennis was for her, but as she’s thinking about what’s next—it’s exciting to see her as passionate about this as you see her on the court.”
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SELENA GOMEZ’S MENTAL HEALTH STARTUP WONDERMIND GETS $100 MILLION VALUATION

A startup cofounded by Selena Gomez, Wondermind, is raising funds at a valuation of $100 million as it looks to capitalize on a boom in the mindfulness trend. Tennis icon Serena Williams’s venture fund, Serena Ventures, led the $5 million early-stage round.
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SHOPPINGGIVES EARNS SHOPIFY PLUS CERTIFICATION

ShoppingGives, the social impact commerce platform that is recognized as a top solution for eCommerce and omnichannel brands to create purposeful and profitable customer relationships, today announced that its Shopify app has received Shopify Plus Certification. This certification recognizes ShoppingGives' ongoing 5-star reviews and excellent customer support infrastructure as well as the technology's top-tier security and technical performance.
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ESUSU CO-FOUNDER WEMIMO ABBEY ANNOUNCED AS PART OF THE 2022 CLASS OF BLOOMBERG NEW ECONOMY CATALYSTS

Founded in 2021, Bloomberg New Economy Catalysts are a global community of public and private sector innovators, visionaries, scientists, policymakers and entrepreneurs who are radically reshaping the new economy.
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SERENA WILLIAMS TALKS INVESTING, BUILDING ON SUCCESS AT CINCINNATI'S BLACK TECH WEEK

Hundreds of techies from around the country gathered at Cincinnati Musical Hall for the highlight of the annual Black Tech Week conference. Serena Williams, arguably the greatest female tennis player ever, talked about her newest venture: funding startups.
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LILLII RNB CLOSES $3M SEED ROUND WITH FUNDING FROM SERENA VENTURES AND APERTURE VENTURES CAPITAL TO ACCELERATE GROWTH

Lillii RNB Inc., a retail fraud detection, prevention, and data services firm, today announced the closing of its $3 million seed round co-led by Serena Ventures and Aperture Venture Capital. Lillii RNB’s proprietary Returns Management and Total Retail Loss platform, Freeing ReturnsTM, assists retailers in optimizing their returns processes and identifying fraud and loss that is hidden in their own data. Lillii RNB’s mission is to greatly reduce the over $400B in retail loss that retailers experience each year.
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CALICO ATTRACTS SERENA WILLIAMS TO $2.1M SEED TO BUILD
FASHION SUPPLY CHAIN SOFTWARE

A few years ago Kathleen Chan, the CEO and founder of Calico, launched a couple of small fashion companies, but as those companies scaled quickly with the help of Shopify and Facebook ads, she noted a lack of tools to help her manage the back office of a business specifically geared to fashion.
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WEB3 STARTUP NESTCOIN RAISES $6.45M IN PRE-SEED CAPITAL TO MAKE CRYPTO MORE ACCESSIBLE FOR AFRICA

Nestcoin, a global web3 startup, has raised $6.45 million in pre-seed capital, according to a press release. The Nigeria-based company aims to make crypto accessible primarily in frontier markets and their new funding will go toward their mission.
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CREDIT BUILDING STARTUP ESUSU REACHES UNICORN STATUS, GIVING BOOST TO BOTH DIVERSE FOUNDERS AND RENTERS

With a $130 million Series B announced this morning, credit building platform Esusu broke the billion-dollar valuation barrier, making it one of the few startups with a Black founder to reach unicorn status. In the last decade, less than 2% of the unicorns that have emerged in the U.S. have Black founders. 
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FOODY COOKS UP MARKETPLACE FOR CULINARY CREATORS

Husband-and-wife co-founders Daniel and Brenna Stitzel are developing a way for foodies to monetize their culinary creations and closed on a round of $1.5 million in pre-seed funding to officially launch Foody.