April 28, 2022

LAWT Staff Report 


Tennis Superstar Serena Williams has invested in Karat, a Seattle-based start-up aimed to assist businesses conduct technical interviews in a strategic capacity.

Karma’s plan is that through their business, they can double the number of Black software engineers working in the technology industry.

Williams heads her own venture capital firm, Serena Ventures, and has invested in technology throughout the years. Her company raised $111 million in March in its inaugural fund.

“Diversity in tech is a big driving force for me that impacts how I feel, think, and move as an entrepreneur and as an investor,” said Williams in an interview.


Karat believes that Williams’ investment and business expertise will help expand the company’s Brilliant Black Minds Program, introducing new curricula and workshops for attracting Black tech talent. Only five percent of U.S software engineers are Black, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Karat also strongly encourages Black tech talent from historically Black colleges and universities to join the program.

Black software engineers often face many challenges when trying to enter the tech industry. Structural inequalities that delay early exposure to computer science, limited connections in their professional networks, and limited information about the industry often puts Black engineers at a disadvantage.

A lack of opportunity to practice performing well in technical interviews also hinders these engineers from performing at their fullest capacity.

“Few Black engineers get access to practice interviews for their dream jobs,” said Moht Bhende, Karat CEO and co-founder. “So, we said, ‘Where we can we find someone who understands practice more than anybody else?’ That led us to Serena.”

“In my regular time, [I help] other founders and other companies build,” shared the tennis star. “Part of that is realizing that the first 5, 10, 20 hires and overall ethos and if the company is large enough, it can help build the wealth of those people. So, we want to make everyone involved in that conversation.”

Through their hard work, Williams and the Karat team, are ensuring equality within the tech industry, creating a fairer platform for all.

Category: Business