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Serena Williams’ Husband, Alexis Ohanian, Made Millions for Others But Missed Out on Participating In Massive $1.6 Billion Windfall from Reddit Going Public

Before meeting his wife, Serena Williams, one of the most influential athletes in the world, Alexis Ohanian was a tech and fintech giant shifting the world as the co-founder of Reddit, a social media site he helped create with his then-friend Steve Huffman, in his 20s while in college.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 25: Serena Williams (R) and husband Alexis Ohanian attend the “Being Serena” New York Premiere at Time Warner Center on April 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

With a current estimated net worth of $150 million, Ohanian and Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast a year after its launch in 2005 for $10 million.

About Alexis Ohanian

According to a profile done by Inc. magazine, he said the reason he was inclined to sell was because his mother had been diagnosed with brain cancer and wanted to show him that her support of him, his ideas, and whatever Reddit would become was not in vain.

He said on an episode of NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast, “[It was] more money for me than my entire family — my mother and father — had made in their entire lives.”

Years after co-creating a venture with Huffman during their undergraduate years, he watched from the sidelines as their creation evolved into a publicly traded entity on Thursday, March 21.

Immediately the stock was successful, surging almost 50 percent after becoming available. The company set its initial public offering share price at $34, a valuation of $6.4 billion. By the close of the IPO trading day on March 21 the stock price was $50.44.

Somehow, years after the sale to Condé Nast, the entrepreneur does not have any sigificant amount of shares. As a result, he is not among those individuals holding a 5 percent stake in the company, nor is his name included in the company’s S-1 filing, as reported by Newsweek.

He helped to run the company’s day-to-day operations from 2014 up until 2018 and sat on the board of directors until 2020 when he resigned, asking the company to put a Black person in his spot in the wake of the summer of unrest, prompted by the death of George Floyd.

Despite not being a part of the financial windfall those still invested in Reddit were able to receive, the 40-year-old celebrated them on social media.

“I’m most happy today for all the people who took a big chance coming join us in 2014 when I came back as chairman for the turnaround,” Ohanian tweeted around 8:16 a.m. on March 21. “Y’all the real MVPs for taking that risk when NO ONE could’ve imagined this for reddit.”

Within minutes, he was asked, “How do you feel about Huffman’s compensation package of $193 million? Do you feel that it’s an accurate reflection of his contributions to Reddit’s growth and profitability?”

The question started a downward turn where the public got to see the contentious relationship between Ohanian and another person he co-founded a company with.

The firm bump was when Initialized Capital, the VC firm that Ohanian co-founded with Y Combinator’s Garry Tan in 2011, made a post celebrating the milestone and did not shout him out.

“Great to see our portfolio company @reddit debut on the NYSE! congrats to Steve Huffman, and the team,” Initialized Capital posted on X.

He reposted the tweet, writing, “Wow, this is petty, @GarryTan @brettdg @jenhwolf — even for y’all.”

“I think it’s great to acknowledge Steve and the team, to leave me out given I co-founded both firms (and everyone is very aware of that) is what’s sad. Not a good look,” he wrote after reading others’ comments on his post.

Tan did however tag Ohanian from his personal account, congratulating both Reddit founders.

“Big congrats @alexisohanian @redditspez on building something people want,” Tan wrote, an old photo of the two from a Reddit’s profile on Y Combinator.

Ohanian has been at the helm of several tech companies, which has increased his wealth significantly.

Through Initialized Capital, he concentrated on seed investing and provided initial funding for startups such as Instacart, Rippling, Opendoor, and Coinbase. Notably, Initialized also participated in Reddit’s Series A funding round in 2012.

He left Initialized Capital in 2020.

However, the serial entrepreneur then launched in 2021 the VC firm 776, which has mostly invested in early-stage crypto startups. 

Before co-founding Initialized Capital, Ohanian established Das Kapital Capital in 2010. Additionally, he served as a partner at Y Combinator, the renowned startup accelerator responsible for launching companies like Airbnb and Twitch.

Amidst all of his starting and leaving businesses, he managed to get married to Williams and have two daughters, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., 6, and Adira River Ohanian, 7 months.

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