Serana Williams invests a million into british sports venture

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Tennis star Serena Williams has pumped more than $1 million (£760,000) into a British sports venture names Open Sponsorship.

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Open Sponsorship, founded by Manchester-born entrepreneur Ishveen Jolly, is a site that connects athletes with sponsor brands. The website, which first launched in the US, will use the funds to enter the UK market. Former Team GB swimmer Charlie Turner will join the board. Jolly was a former sports agent who became frustrated with the complex process of landing sponsors for athletes. She created Open Sponsorship in 2015.
The latest investment from Williams takes the firm’s total fundraising to $5.5million. Other investors include Crystal Palace part-owner David Blitzer and former basketball player Baron Davis. Williams made the investment through her firm Serena Ventures, which has backed tech start-ups including Propel and Cointracker. Open Sponsorship has more than 12,000 athletes globally including former footballer Wayne Rooney and basketball star LeBron James.

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Brands including Foot Locker and Levi’s have used the organisation to find athletes and teams for product placements, endorsements, event appearances and speeches

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