She’s no “lazy Susan.” It’s just been announced that AOL has appointed company exec Susan Lyne to be at the helm of The BBG Fund, a new AOL venture fund focused on early stage investments in women-led consumer internet start-ups.
“The fund will make seed and Series A investments, with a focus on multiplatform media, services, and commerce,” noted the release posted by AOL’s corporate headquarters. “AOL has a long and successful history of investing in women’s content: MAKERS, Thrive, Global Motherhood and the Cambio/Girls Who Code program all launched within AOL, which is consistently the leader in Comscore’s Lifestyle category. With this new initiative, AOL is investing in women as builders, part of a broader initiative to bring more women and girls into tech.”
Lyne was previously Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of AOL’s Brand Group. Prior to joining AOL, Lyne served as Chairman of Gilt Groupe, Inc. an online fashion and luxury brand retailer, and as Gilt’s Chief Executive Officer from September 2008 to September 2010. Lyne also served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. from 2004 to 2008.
“As head of AOL Brands, I had the opportunity to contribute to the growth and profitability of our portfolio of premium brands,” said Lyne, now President of The BBG Fund. “In my new role, I am looking forward to contributing in a different way.”
Lyne believes AOL can make a difference.
“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,” she emphasized. “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.”