Serena Williams’ VC firm leads $12.3-million investment in Ugandan fintech startup, Numida
Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm led by Serena Williams, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time, has led a $12.3-million investment in Numida, a Ugandan fintech startup co-founded by Kampala-based entrepreneur Mina Shahid.
Founded in 2015 by three Canadian Y Combinator graduates — Shahid, Catherine Denis, and Ben Best — Numida offers mobile money-based digital working capital loans ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Serena Ventures led the pre-Series-A round, investing $7.3 million of the $12.3 million raised by the Kampala-based fintech startup. Breega, 4Di Capital, Launch Africa, Soma Capital, Y Combinator, and existing investor MFS Africa also participated in the round.
Lendable Asset Management, a technology-enabled investment and alternative platform that focuses on global impact alternatives, also provided Numida with a $5-million debt facility.
The investment will strengthen Numida’s presence in Uganda and support its expansion across Africa. The fintech startup has also expressed an interest in expanding to Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Tanzania. It also hopes to boost the number of businesses that it serves in Uganda by half to 40,000.
Through Serena Ventures, which announced that it raised an initial $111-million fund in March, Williams has invested in more than 60 startups.
A professional athlete, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and mother, Williams started investing actively nine years ago after realizing the positive effects that startups have on people’s daily lives.
According to Forbes, her net worth has increased since 2020, rising from $225 million at the start of the year to $260 million at the time this report was being written.