Singapore-headquartered Genesis Alternative Ventures (GAV), a private lender to venture- and growth-stage companies in Southeast Asia, has signed an MoU with Japan’s Aozora Bank.
As part of the deal, the two parties will provide support for Japanese venture-backed companies looking to expand into Southeast Asia.
This follows Genesis’s announcement in April of the final close of its US$80 million venture debt fund, with Sassoon Family being the anchor investor
Dr Jeremy Loh, co-founder and partner of GAV, said: “We look forward to partnering Aozora to introduce venture debt to startups in Southeast Asia and Japan. We believe that venture debt is ideal for young companies with strong growth trajectory as it will allow them to expand without diluting founders’ equity.”
Founded in 2019 by Ben J Benjamin, Dr Jeremy Loh and Mr Martin Tang, Genesis is a private lender backed by tier-one VCs. The firm has backed a number of startups in the region, such as TaniHub, Hmlet, Horangi Cybersecurity, and Deliveree.
Aozora Bank is a full-service Tokyo-based bank with assets of more than ¥5 trillion (US$45 million). Last year, it launched a venture debt fund for Japanese technology companies.
Venture debt, generally deployed by way of senior, secured non-convertible debenture accompanied by equity options, is appropriate for emerging, high growth businesses that need to extend their cash runway to get to the next stage of growth.
These companies may lack the track record to meet traditional criteria for bank loans or their founders may wish to minimize equity dilution.