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Composite art by Clark Miller. Photos Ohanian, Creative Commons and Roberto Faccenda.
Composite art by Clark Miller. Photos Ohanian, Creative Commons and Roberto Faccenda.

Ohanian in Paradise: Still Nursing Old Wounds From Reddit, the Former Founder Chases a New Legacy

The Seven Seven Six founder talks about his fiery exit from the company he co-founded, and his search for new sources of redemption.

Composite art by Clark Miller. Photos Ohanian, Creative Commons and Roberto Faccenda.
Nov. 4, 2022 9:00 AM PDT

A while back, Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder and venture capitalist, and his wife Serena Williams, the tennis legend and angel investor, reached a compromise. They’d been working under the same roof during the pandemic, Ohanian running his venture shop, Seven Seven Six, and Williams overseeing her growing empire of endorsements, entertainment deals and seed investments. But the setup had begun to irritate both of them, in particular Williams. “Alexis talks too loud,” she told me.

So they decided that she would operate from their 14,500-square-foot, ultramodern mansion that she gut-renovated with her sister Venus’ help. Meanwhile, Ohanian would work from The Farm. Located a few miles away in Jupiter, Fla., The Farm is a several-acre plot with a smaller, equally modernist house shielded behind a shoulder-high wall. Ohanian and Williams like guests to stay here when they visit. “We have a lot of aunties in this family,” he explained as we strolled The Farm’s grounds last month.

In The Farm’s yard was a small soccer pitch for Olympia—his and Williams’ five-year-old daughter—and a blue tennis court identical to the one at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Williams dramatically concluded her U.S. Open career in September. Auntie Venus had been hitting balls here a few hours earlier; she and Olympia play on the court more than Serena, who prefers to practice away from home. Across the way, banana trees hung heavy with yellow-green ripening fruit. Next to them grew sugar-cane plants and coconut-palm saplings about a foot high.

I asked Ohanian, clad in a black T-shirt and shorts and blue Crocs, if there was a metaphor to glean from the literal seeds he was putting into the ground outside and the figurative ones he was tending through his startup investments. He grinned, eye-rolling at the analogy. “Too Sequoia,” he said.

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