AOL announced a new venture fund focused on early stage investments in women-led consumer internet start-ups, and appointed Susan Lyne to run it. It’s called the BBG Fund.
The BBG Fund will make seed and Series A investments, focusing on multiplatform media, services, and commerce. AOL says it’s part of a broader initiative to bring more women into tech.
Lynne was previously Executive Vice President and CEO of AOL’s Brand Group. She will continue to work out of AOL’s NYC headquarters and report to CEO Tim Armstrong.
“As head of AOL Brands, I had the opportunity to contribute to the growth and profitability of our portfolio of premium brands,” said Lyne. “In my new role, I am looking forward to contributing in a different way. We have a huge megaphone at AOL so we can have an outsized impact on the way girls and women perceive their options, and on the breadth of entrepreneurial ideas that have a chance to compete. But this is also good business: women are the majority of users on the fastest-growing sites and services on the internet. We believe we can get strong returns by focusing on entrepreneurs who know the customer best.”
“Susan has done an excellent job in her time at AOL at a board and operating level, and we are excited to be putting her vast skills and expertise to work to replicate this success at The BBG Fund,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman & CEO of AOL. “AOL has a strong track record of investing in women, women’s leadership, and we are adding to our investments in the most important space for women entrepreneurs. ”
Maureen Sullivan, President of Media Brands will continue to lead AOL.com and the company’s lifestyle brands and money portfolio. Luke Beatty, President of Media Brands, will lead its technology, autos and entertainment properties and the Experimental Products team. Arianna Huffington and Jimmy Maymann will continue to run The Huffington Post.
Lyne will present AOL’s broader #BUILTBYGIRLS initiative at Ad Week next month.
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