With coronavirus news currently roiling financial markets, some might guess that recently launched venture capital funds would hold off on whatever they were planning a few months ago. But that’s not what Michael Cohn and Sean O’Brien, founder-operators of Atlanta-based early stage venture capital firm Overline, have decided to do.
Overline is a generalist fund that intends to make capital commitments between $1 million and $1.5 million across a variety of industries, focusing its seed-stage business investments on companies based in Atlanta and the Southeastern U.S.
Having launched in 2019, Overline recently announced the initial closing of its Overline Seed Fund I LP, with $17.5 million in commitments toward a target of $25 million, which it expects to reach this summer. Atlanta-based Mailchimp is an anchor investor, with additional investment from Cox Enterprises, Hallett Capital, Atlanta Tech Village founder David Cummings, and Techstars co-founder David Cohen.
Cohn is an Atlanta startup scene veteran who founded Cloud Sherpas and served as managing director at Techstars Atlanta for its first three years. O’Brien, who transitioned from equity research and hedge fund management on Wall Street to M&A for a local technology company, is a highly successful investor with advisory roles at a slew of companies, including BigTeam, Vital4 and others.
The two founder-operators expect to make most of the fund’s investments in Atlanta and the Southeast.
“If we could deploy 100 percent of our fund in our backyard of Atlanta, we’d love to do that,” Cohn says. “We’ve heard it from startups in Charleston, Nashville, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Tampa and so forth. Our plan is to deploy half the fund in Atlanta, and a quarter of the fund in the region. We have the flexibility to chase great deals wherever they may be, so long as it doesn’t exceed that last quarter of the fund.”