Serena Williams backs British sports tech entrepreneur behind sports startup OpenSponshorship

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Tennis star Serena Williams has made a seven-figure investment in a British entrepreneur’s sports tech business.

Serena williams

The former world number one made the investment in athlete sponsorship company OpenSponsorship through her investment firm, Serena Ventures.

OpenSponsorship CEO Ishveen Jolly said: “An industry like sports can be hard to disrupt and sometimes it can feel like an old boys club. Having someone like Serena come in and invest in you is a big step to say this is possible.”

Serena williams

Jolly, originally from Manchester, said the funding would go towards sales marketing and the company’s international expansion plans. The Oxford economics graduate said Williams would help her build more connections in the sports industry.
“She’s really smart, really knowledgeable not only from the sport side but also the business side,” Jolly said.
“She’s genuinely interested, she asks questions and she asks how she can help.”

A former management c, Jolly quit her job to set up Open Sponsorship in 2015.

The Open Sponsorship platform allows companies to find athletes available for sponsorship across a range of spots.

The company now works with over 11,000 athletes across 120 countries, and has partnered with a number of global brands including Verizon, Groupon and CBS Interactive.

Serena Williams said: “Brand sponsorship is vital to an athlete’s career and OpenSponsorship is giving them more control and ownership over that process.”

23-time grand slam winner Williams founded Serena ventures in 2014 with the goal of funding businesses set up by founders from under-represented backgrounds. 53% of the founders funded by the firm are women, while 47% are black.

Write A Comment