Serena and Venus Williams have become shareholders in London-based investor app Shares, which launched in the UK in May.
A report by the Evening Standard revealed that the former Centre Court champions will also be brand ambassadors for the company, but it is not known how much they have invested personally.
The company raised $40m in Series B funding just a couple months ago. The round was led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and also saw participation from Singular, Red Sea Ventures and Global Founders Capital.
The company claims it combines the simplicity of an investment product with all the features users would expect from a social media app and creates a ‘unique trading community’ offering users no-minimum, no fee access to hundreds of stocks from just £1.
Users are able to share their views on the investment they are making with their close circles when they are buying or selling shares by sharing captions and GIFs. In addition, Shares enables its members to keep track of all of their friends’ investments in real-time, support or challenge each others’ trades and react to them through likes and comments.
People who use Shares are also able to create group watchlists with their friends to track their next opportunities together and can also communicate through group chats or private DMs to discuss investment strategies with close friends and family. Users can also view friends’ profiles to see what shares they invest in as well as their aggregated profits and losses.
Benjamin Chemla, Shares CEO, told the Standard he sought the support of the Williams sisters to help “build a social trading platform and one that addresses a more diverse audience and a more feminine one.
“My dream team from day one was the Williams sisters. We had this occasion to meet them in Paris [and] I felt lucky because almost right away they understood the vision… Not only do they become a shareholder but also the faces of the company. We wanted them both – they’ve probably never been together in the same campaign.”
Serena Williams said, “The first time I heard about Shares I was blown away by the vision. 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.”
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