Lightbank Adds Former Playboy And NBC Exec Paul Lee As Partner

Lightbank, the investment fund of Groupon co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, is announcing its first partner hire today—seasoned media and technology venture exec Paul H. Lee.

​Lee is joining Lightbank from Playboy Enterprises where he was Managing Director and Group Head of the company’s digital ventures group. Prior to joining Playboy, Lee was a Senior Vice President for the Peacock Equity Fund, the venture arm of NBC Universal in New York and was responsible for onvesting in emerging ad platforms including gaming and mobile/wireless advertising sectors. As a founding partner of the fund, Lee helped lead investments in 4INFO, Greystripe, Healthline, Ramp, and Rubicon Project.

While Lee’s venture experience has centered in the media world, he plans on making investments in a variety of technology sectors. Lightbank’s venture strategy focuses on four major themes, says Lee, “mobile, social, local and global.” This year, the fund is committing anywhere up to $10 million in seed stage investments, but the firm may look at later stage investment opportunities in the future.

And for now, Lightbank has mostly invested in Midwest startups (including Sprout Social, Where I’ve Been, and Watermelon Express,) but Lee says the firm is not tied to the area anymore and will be looking to fund entrepreneurs regardless of where their startup is based.