Bitcoin rewards company Lolli has raised $5 million from a cast of notable investors and tennis star Serena Williams is one of its prominent investors.
Lolli is the leading bitcoin rewards company that gives users free bitcoin when they shop at top retailers.
“I’m excited to announce my investment in Lolli, a company on a mission to make bitcoin more accessible,” Williams said in a statement. “Earning and owning bitcoin is a step towards financial inclusivity for all people.”
Williams joins her husband Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven and Night Media management company, Casey Neistat, Phil DeFranco, Cody Ko, Noel Miller, Ian Borthwick and Gabriel Leydon.
Lolli co-founder Alex Adelman says the company currently offers an average of 7% bitcoin-back rewards at retailers such as Sephora, Macy’s, Kroger, Microsoft, Booking.com and Ulta. The company says it has already given more than $3 million in Bitcoin as rewards to users since launching in 2018.
“We started out with the idea of educating people about bitcoin,” Adelman said in an interview. “So we just attached it to something that everybody does: shop. People think about investing when they think about bitcoin, but there’s probably less than 1% of the world that would consider themselves investors. Everybody would consider themselves a shopper.”
During an interview, Williams revealed how she decides which companies Serena Ventures should invest in.
“First of all, we look at companies that embrace diverse leadership. So that’s one of the first things we look at. Individual empowerment and create opportunity, they have to have that. Like I said, we focus on early stage, a lot of our companies they can be B2B companies, or consumer companies or they could be things that bring innovation to the world,” she said per Essentially Sports.
She added: “Our model of investment is more or less listen, we are investing in the founder, the diverse leadership. We want to make sure that there are plenty of women who have an opportunity to have a company that are looked at and are seen. So, one thing, the reason that I started, I did investments before but ai didn’t have Serena Ventures so the reason that I started is at the time I saw less than two percent of women in the companies were backed by VC’s. So I said, listen I don’t have a VC fund, but I can start doing something.”