Venus and Serena Williams have become investment platform SHARES’ first ambassadors after the tennis superstars backed the startup.
The news comes after Shares raised $40m in a Series B funding deal in July, shortly after securing a $40m Series A round in March. PayPal founder Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures led both rounds.
CEO and founder Benjamin Chemla has previously told Verdict that Shares is different from similar rivals – such as UK challenger stockbroker Freetrade, German Trade Republic and US-based Robinhood – by it having introduced a social element to the platform.
The startup hopes to create more accessible, inclusive and collaborative places for diverse audiences, who lack the access, resources or opportunities more privileged people may have, something the Williams sisters said drew them to Shares.
“It is rare to find companies that are equally as passionate about opening up opportunities and breaking barriers to entry that have prevented traditional spaces like investment from being totally inclusive,” Serena Williams said in a statement.
“I believe everyone, and especially women should have the tools and access to take control of their finances.”
Venus Williams echoed her sister’s sentiment, calling the Shares platform a “creative and playful solution” for young and female investors. She said Serena and her own interests aligned, when it came to supporting the investment platform.
“I’m super pumped to welcome Venus and Serena into our Shares family,” Chemla said about the announcement. “Our primary goal is to bring people together to make finance accessible while always offering the best product to our users. Venus and Serena have such a unique and inspiring story, as well as amazing values, so we had no hesitation to bring them in as shareholders and as brand ambassadors.”
The news comes as fintech investments have threatened to dry out amidst the tech drought that has swept across the world.