MAMARONECK, N.Y. – March 1, 2023 – Topspin Consumer Partners (“Topspin”), an operationally-driven private equity firm focused on the consumer sector, today announced the appointment of tennis champion and entrepreneur, Venus Williams, as its newest Operating Partner. In this role, Venus will work closely with Topspin and its portfolio companies to broaden marketing strategies, gain brand exposure, and identify innovative ways of enhancing value, as well as help source new investment opportunities.
“Venus is not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but she is also an established entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist,” said Leigh Randall, Managing Partner of Topspin. “Having had the pleasure of getting to know Venus for some time through our Operating Partner, Josh Shaw, who has worked closely with Venus and her family for over a decade, all of us at Topspin have been impressed by her strong business acumen, competitive spirit, wellness expertise, and vast professional network. She will serve as an invaluable resource for our portfolio companies, and we look forward to working with her to identify new and exciting investment opportunities.”
As the founder of several innovative consumer brands and one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports, Venus will leverage her collective experiences to enhance Topspin’s investment portfolio and pipeline. Businesses that Venus has founded include Happy Viking, a plant-based superfood nutrition company, lifestyle and activewear brand EleVen, and interior design firm V Starr. In May 2020, Venus partnered with Credo Beauty to debut an award-winning line of clean, mineral-based SPF products under the EleVen by Venus umbrella. Additionally, she currently serves as Chief Brand Officer to Asutra, a growing health, wellness, and beauty brand.
“What resonated with me most about Topspin was the team’s deep understanding of consumer investing and genuine desire to help entrepreneurs and visionaries reach their full potential,” said Venus. “I’ve learned so much about navigating the competitive consumer landscape from my own ventures, and strongly believe this is the perfect opportunity for me to leverage my expertise to add value – whether it be helping the firm’s portfolio companies improve their marketing efforts or identifying up-and-coming businesses to partner with. I’m excited to be working alongside such a talented group of investment professionals and advisors in this new role.”
Topspin invests in fast-growing, branded consumer companies that are capturing market share through their differentiated offerings. The firm focuses on companies that sell consumer “essentials,” are leveraging digital marketing and e-commerce platforms to build brand exposure and expand distribution, and that benefit from the strong secular trends driven by consumers’ growing interest in health & wellness. Topspin partners with founders and executive leadership teams looking to transform their businesses into leading middle market companies, and works collaboratively with them to implement operational best practices, upgrade product development processes and capabilities, and enhance sales, distribution, and marketing strategies.
About Venus Williams
With 7 Grand Slam titles, 5 Wimbledon championships and 4 Olympic gold medals, tennis champion Venus Williams is arguably one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports. In addition to her accolades on the court, Venus parlayed her fine-tuned business acumen with her healthy competitive spirit to launch several successful businesses. In 2002, Venus founded V Starr, a full-service commercial and residential design firm. Continuing with her love for design, Venus obtained an Associate of Science in Fashion Design and in 2012 she launched fashion-forward activewear and lifestyle brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. Her entrepreneurship in the health and wellness space additionally includes her plant-based protein company, Happy Viking. Venus recently served as Executive Producer on the Academy Award-winning Warner Brothers biopic King Richard, which detailed the influence her father and coach, Richard Williams, had on her childhood and careers as she became a tennis icon and changed the sport for generations to come. Throughout her career, Venus has been a steadfast advocate for equality. In 2007 it was her unwavering fight which led Wimbledon to award women players the same pay as their male counterparts and in 2021, she launched an awareness initiative called the #PrivilegeTax in conjunction with EleVen to bring attention to the wage inequality and unveiled a platform of resources for young women to get inspired and address the issue on a grassroots level. Venus is a graduate of Indiana University East where she received a BSC degree in Business Administration in 2015, and of The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where she received an Associate of Science in Fashion Design in 2007.