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Serena Williams owns shares and options in SurveyMonkey



Serena Williams
Tennis star Serena Williams serves as a director of
SurveyMonkey’s parent company and could see a windfall from its
public offering.


  • Tennis star Serena Williams could see a boon from the
    initial public offering of the parent company of
  • Williams serves as a director of the company and owns
    210,000 options and another 35,000 shares.
  • Williams’ options come with a very standard caveat:
    Each one will cost her $16.03 to buy — so unless SurveyMonkey
    really explodes out of the gate after its IPO, her potential
    profit will likely pale in comparison to her winnings from
  • Still, depending how things go, the SurveyMonkey IPO
    could mean a tidy payday for Williams. 

Serena Williams has racked up some major cash on the tennis
circuit  — she’s
made over $84 million in winnings in her career
.  Now
she has a chance to strike it big in a tech IPO.

Williams is among those who could see a windfall from the IPO of
SVMK, the parent company of SurveyMonkey. The tennis star serves
as a director of the company and holds some 210,000 options and
another 35,000 restricted shares in the company. 

filed Wednesday for a public offering
that could raise as
much as $100 million. It hasn’t yet said how many shares it will
sell or the price at which it will offer them. 

How Williams will fare in that stock sale depends on that price.

Her options have a strike price of $16.03 — which is to say, it’s
how much it’ll cost Williams to turn each one of those 210,000
options into an actual share of the company. If the stock is
worth more than that once she’s eligible to start trading those
shares, she’ll make a profit; if it’s less, she won’t. So unless
SurveyMonkey really comes roaring out of the gate, Williams will
probably be disinclined to retire from tennis from this

She does, however, own those other 35,000 shares outright,
regardless of whatever else happens. 

Last year, SVMK repurchased nearly 12,000 shares from investors
at a price of $12.21 a share. At that price, Williams’ 35,000
shares would be worth about $427,000. It’s fair to say, however,
that SurveyMonkey’s leadership, including Williams, are likely
hoping for a bigger pop, which would make all of her equity worth
a lot more. 

SVMK gave Williams the options last year when
she joined its board
. It gave her the restricted shares,
which vest over a four-year period, earlier this month. The
company expects about 3,499 of those shares to be fully vested at
the time of its IPO.

The SVMK public offering could be Williams’ best shot at tech
entrerpreneurial superstardom, but it’s not her only chance to
make it big. According to Crunchbase, Williams has personal
investments in Israeli photo-sharing app Mobli and San
Francisco-based e-commerce startup Mayvenn. 

Other SurveyMonkey directors include Facebook COO Sheryl
Sandberg, whose late husband Dave Goldberg served as CEO of the
company. Sandberg plans to
donate her 10% stake in the company
to charitable causes.

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