Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian scored a $50 million windfall from an early bet on cryptocurrencies that helped him seal his love match with tennis legend Serena Williams.
Ohanian, 39, revealed in an interview with Forbes that he used a portion of his profits to buy a $3 million, 17-carat engagement ring when he proposed to Williams in December 2016.
Williams, who won a record 23 major singles titles before retiring last year, married the tech entrepreneur in 2017.
Ohanian said he earned the $50 million through an early investment in the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and by buying up ether, a leading cryptocurrency token that ranks just behind bitcoin in popularity.
Ohanian told the outlet he learned about the token during his early meetings with Coinbase executives in 2014.
He invested $15,000 to buy 50,000 ether. Today, a single ether token is worth about $1,651, meaning Ohanian’s original stake would be worth nearly $83 million.
“In hindsight, I didn’t invest nearly as much as I should have,” Ohanian told Forbes.
After Coinbase went public in 2021, Ohanian used $26 million in his stock proceeds to launch his venture firm 776, which focuses on blockchain and other tech-centric investments. The firm has more than $750 million in assets under management, according to its website.
He also donated $1 million toward ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s nonprofit “Know Your Rights.”
Ohanian also told Forbes a humorous story about his first date with Williams, which nearly went off the rails after the superstar athlete tried to access Reddit. At the time, the social media platform didn’t have a mobile app.
“She asked me what I did. I said I started and run this company called Reddit. She pretended like she knew of it, but she didn’t. She goes to her phone and searches the app store and she’s like ‘how do you spell it?’ and I’m like ‘R-E-D-D-I-T.’ I’m sweating because I have to try to explain to her we don’t have an app,” Ohanian said.
“I was like, I haven’t heard of it. And there’s no app? It mustn’t be real,” Williams added.
In 2019, Forbes estimated that Ohanian has a net worth of $70 million. As of last August, the outlet projected williams-tennis-retirement-net-worth-earnings/?sh=4c30ad44d831″>Williams’ fortune to be $260 million.
Coinbase’s stock has plunged by more than 82% since the company went public. The cryptocurrency firm conducted layoffs last year as an economic downturn and the fallout from FTX’s bankruptcy rattled the entire industry.
As of Thursday, the company had a market cap of nearly $14 billion, with shares trading above $60.
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