She’s a happily married woman, but Serena Williams is teaming up with one of the leading dating apps for women—specifically to benefit women of color.
As reported by Black Enterprise (BE), Williams recently joined Bumble as a global adviser for the app—which now includes social and business networking components. All are centered around the theme of encouraging women to “make the first move,” one of the unique (and winning) features of Bumble’s format in the dating app landscape. The partnership was initially announced during a 2019 Super Bowl commercial.
Last Wednesday, it was announced that Williams is now also an investor in Bumble, with her involvement specifically targeted toward investing in women of color founders via the Bumble Fund. As noted on the Bumble Fund site:
In 2017, startups with women at the helm received just 2% of all venture capital funding. For black, Latinx, and other women from underrepresented groups, that statistic is even more bleak. Black women are both the most educated and most entrepreneurial demographic in the U.S., but received only 0.2% of all venture funding for their startups last year.
The Bumble fund was created by Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd with a goal of “ending bias in venture capital,” with a special focus on businesses led by women of color and underrepresented groups, as reported by BE. While both the size of the Bumble Fund and Williams’ initial investment remain undisclosed, to date, the fund has invested in Beautycon, venture capital fund Cleo Capital, Female Founders Fund, AI-powered platform for founders Alice, on-demand fitness platform Gixo, criminal justice reform-focused tech company Promise, and diversity and inclusion training system Translator. Investments have ranged from $5,000 to $250,000, with an average of $25,000, reports Fortune.
Additionally, Williams will join Wolfe Herd in judging an upcoming Bumble Fund pitch competition, which is currently accepting applications through Bumble Bizz, open to all Bumble members. Applications to the Bumble Fund are also available through Alice.
“Partnering with Serena Williams has been a dream of mine since we launched Bumble as she is one of the most inspiring women in history and a shining example of someone making the first move in all facets of her life,” Wolfe Herd said in a statement. “She is the epitome of strength, integrity, kindness, empowerment, and everything Bumble stands for.”
For Williams, who, in addition to her legendary tennis career, is also indisputably one of the most successful women of color entrepreneurs in the world, this is just the latest in a series of partnerships that have included Poshmark and the Allstate’s Purple Purse Fund. And for a woman who seemingly has it all, Williams’ stance is that success is firstly a matter of knowing your power—and being brave enough to make the first move.
“I’ve learned how impactful one woman’s voice can be when given a platform to speak and be heard. I am passionate about building on this progress and opening doors for women of all backgrounds, especially women of color, to share their message and trust in their potential to accomplish great things,” she said in a statement. “By joining forces with the Bumble Fund, we will continue amplifying female entrepreneurs and creating a place for them to personally and professionally champion their growth.”