- Serena Williams invested in Coinbase in 2018 through her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. But the cryptocurrency startup is no longer included on the investments page of the firm’s website.
- Coinbase is entangled in controversy after CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a memo telling employees to leave their politics and social causes at the door. At least 60 employees have quit in the aftermath.
- It’s possible that Serena Ventures has divested her stake in Coinbase, and that’s why it pulled the startup from its website. The VC firm did not respond to a request for comment.
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Serena Williams is keen on investing in startups changing the world for the better.
That strategy explains her earlier investment in Coinbase, a company on a mission to “bring economic freedom to people all over” through an app that allows casual consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
But a battle at Coinbase on the role of employee activism at work may have her tiptoeing away from the startup.
Serena Ventures, the investment firm started by Williams, has quietly removed Coinbase from the investments page on its website, even though it backed the cryptocurrency startup that’s now entangled in political controversy.
In September, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong publicly posted a memo describing how the company should take a hands-off approach to politics and social causes, and instead stay focused on the company mission. The directive was viewed by some as a “cultural reset” after employees pressured the startup to issue a statement on the Black Lives Matter movement in June, and the company’s stonewalling led some to quit and others to do a virtual walkout.