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Venus Williams on why she invested in HumanCo

November 7, 2021, 1:00 PM UTC

Venus Williams is no stranger to success, with seven Grand Slam titles and multiple wins at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the Olympic Games, easily making her one of the greatest players in American tennis history. Williams has translated that success into the business world, investing in and supporting multiple companies and causes.

Among those investments is HumanCo, a private holding company and incubator, financing consumer brands focused on healthier living and sustainability. Williams recently shared more with Fortune about her decision to invest.

Venus Williams
Taylor Hill—Getty Images/WireImage
  • Startup: HumanCo
  • Location: Austin
  • Year founded: 2019
  • Valuation: Declined to disclose
  • Investment level: Series A, Bridge Round
  • Number of employees: 24
  • Other major investors: Vista Equity Partners, 8VC, JAZZ Venture Partners, Indra Nooyi, Shawn Mendes, Andy Roddick, and Brooklyn Decker

Why she invested, in her own words

It’s not every day that you meet a fellow entrepreneur whose life trajectory mimics yours in a unique way. When an autoimmune disease diagnosis caused me to completely change my lifestyle, I quickly learned that what you put into your body has profound effects on how you feel. When I met HumanCo cofounder, Jason H. Karp, and learned about his similar struggles with an autoimmune disease and an evolving plant-based and paleo diet, we immediately connected over the need for a trusted source in the industry that can educate consumers on the importance of high-quality, clean ingredients. After learning about HumanCo’s mission to build, acquire, and scale wellness-focused brands, it became clear to me that I needed to get involved. 

HumanCo’s vision for the industry and Jason’s role as a leader convinced me to invest. Having previously cofounded with his family one of my all-time favorite food brands, Hu, he and his new company have the potential to create businesses that move consumer behavior in the right direction. Each of HumanCo’s current brands—Snow Days, Coconut Bliss, Monty’s, and Against the Grain—have become staples in my everyday diet because I know the criteria that goes into bringing brands into the HumanCo family: the best possible ingredients, sustainable practices, and a passionate founding team. 

With my investment into HumanCo, I’ve also joined its board of advisers. My role is one in which I can use my personal experiences to guide meaningful decisions about the future of the company. My journey to finding a diet and lifestyle that makes me feel my best has been a long and hard one, and it’s not complete. If I can help create a trusted, turnkey solution for healthier living, like HumanCo plans to, it will be an incredible accomplishment and a great investment. 

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.