AOL CEO To Lead Venture Fund Aimed At Female-Led Startups

AOL CEO Susan Lyne is stepping down for a position with an in-house AOL venture fund aimed at supporting digital startups led by women. Lyne, who was the CEO of AOL’s brand group, will the lead the the project.

Recode‘s Kara Swisher was tipped off to Lyne’s departure and move to AOL’s venture arm which has been less than active in recent years.

It is tentatively being called the Build Fund — that could change — and will initially have about $10 million to $12 million to invest in early-stage women-led companies. AOL said that seed and Series A investments will be made over a range of consumer Internet areas, including e-commerce and media.

Lyne hopes that Build Fund will help other women achieve the roles and opportunities in the tech industry that they very much deserve.

“This has always been in the back of my head and has been my passion,” Lyne said. “Women are such an important part of the Internet and need to be represented better in funding.”
Pointing to the dire stats about women and girls in tech, she noted that only seven percent of venture funding goes to female-led startups and only four percent of VCs are women, even though women are major users of online services.

Lyne hopes to move quickly and start funding projects very soon. With women in the technology industry already facing more than their fair share of bullshit, hopefully this new feature, helpfully led by a woman, can help get things moving in a better direction.

Image via Getty.

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