Serena Williams Partners with Lender Serving 4000% Interest Rate Loans

SoLo Funds is not so fun for borrowers

Andy Spears


Photo by Josephine Gasser on Unsplash

Tennis great Serena Williams is now an active venture capitalist.

Her firm, Serena Ventures, is now partnering with a fintech lender — SoLo Funds.

Here’s what Serena has to say about the partnership:

Speaking about the investment, Serena Williams, managing partner at Serena Ventures, said in a written statement: “SoLo is transforming the lives of everyday Americans with democratized access to capital and returns that’s truly rooted in community. Community finance is working and SoLo is proof of that.”

Meanwhile, at least one state is prohibiting SoLo from operating there because the fintech lender charges excessive interest rates — up to 4000% — on its loans.

Based on Connecticut’s analysis of loans facilitated in the state, the typical principal amount was $100, with an average ‘lender tip’ of $21 and an average ‘donation’ to Solo of $10 — equating to APRs that ranged from 43% to as much as 4,280%.

That’s not exactly “democratized” access to capital, despite Williams’ claim.

It also doesn’t really seem to be “working,” unless by working, Williams means working to make SoLo Funds and Serena Ventures better off at the expense of low-income borrowers.

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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .