By Emma Hinchliffe
March 20, 2019

Serena Williams will invest in and advise the Bumble Fund, the dating app’s fund that primarily backs startups led by women of color, Bumble announced on Wednesday.

“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,” Williams 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.”

Williams starred in a Super Bowl commercial for Bumble in February and is now expanding her relationship with the women-first dating app beyond its marketing efforts. The tennis superstar has invested in around 30 companies through her own platform, Serena Ventures, including Brandless, The Wing, and Billie. In addition, she serves as a board member of Silicon Valley companies Poshmark and SurveyMonkey.

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Williams joins actress Priyanka Chopra as a high-profile investor and advisor to Bumble. But while Williams is working with the Bumble Fund, Chopra in October invested in Bumble itself and advised the app on its expansion to India. Bumble says that both women are global advisors to the company as it grows, for now focused on their separate areas.

Launched in 2018, the Bumble Fund has invested in Beautycon, Cleo Capital, Female Founders Fund, Alice, and other seed and Series A-stage startups and funds. Its checks range from $5,000 to $250,000, with an average of $25,000. Bumble declined to disclose the size of Williams’s investment and the size of the Bumble Fund.

Williams will judge a Bumble Fund pitch competition next month alongside Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. The company is accepting applications through the networking vertical of its app, Bumble Bizz.

“When we launched our #InHerCourt campaign with Serena Williams this past January, we were amazed by the overwhelming response we received from women globally who felt empowered by our message,” Wolfe Herd said in a statement. “In teaming up with Williams for the Bumble Fund, we want women everywhere to know that we are here, we are listening and we believe in you. We are giving women more keys to success, while encouraging them to push their ideas forward and keep thinking big when it comes to their business ventures.”

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