The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Christopher Quinn reports, “Two leaders in Atlanta’s technology industry announced Monday the launch of a new venture capital fund that will focus on investing in new companies in emerging tech hubs with an emphasis on minority and women founders.”
Paul Judge, who has helped found multiple Atlanta startups such as cybersecurity company Pindrop, is joining with Mark Buffington, the co-founder of BIP Capital, an investment firm with more than a decade of history in Atlanta.
The new division of BIP Capital, called Panoramic Ventures, aims to raise $300 million.
“Already we have over $100 million that’s committed to the fund,” Judge told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Atlanta and regions outside the high-tech capitals of California, Massachusetts and New York have suffered from not having local investment firms. Judge said many Atlanta startups got funding from out-of-state firms that would fly in to interview candidates. And a number of Atlanta success stories, such as OneTrust, a privacy and security firm, got early funding from local entrepreneurs who had built and sold companies.
“That’s really what drove us to start Panoramic,” Judge said. “There needs to be a flagship fund that’s based here.
“Atlanta’s ecosystem is healthy enough and vibrant enough and has enough good companies that there should be several big venture capital firms that are actually based here.
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The fund will also look to other overlooked regions such as the Midwest for prospective investments.
Racial and gender diversity of company founders will also be a focus of Panoramic Ventures. Atlanta has been a success story in including minorities in tech jobs and companies. While tech centers like Silicon Valley employ single-digit percentages of minorities, about 25% of tech entrepreneurs in Atlanta are Black business people.
“As a minority who has built companies outside of the traditional tech hubs, I know what it is like to be an overlooked founder,” Judge said.
Panoramic has a 25-member team to help and guide the businesses it invests in.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.