Following the success of its debut $90 million fund in 2019, Singapore-based venture capital firm Genesis Alternative Ventures has launched its second venture debt fund to raise $150 million to finance start-ups across Southeast Asia.

Genesis said in a statement almost half the fund was raised at first close earlier this month.

In a strong show of support, 80 percent of Fund II’s first close commitments came from existing Genesis’ Limited Partners (LPs) such as Sassoon Investment Corp, Aozora Bank, Korea Development Bank, Mizuho Leasing, Silverhorn, family offices, charitable trusts, fund of funds and corporate investors.

Among new investors is OurCrowd, the Israel-based online global venture investing platform.

“Genesis Fund II further strengthens our ability to provide financing for promising start-ups that are catalysts for economic growth in the region,” said Jeremy Loh, Genesis’ Co-Founder and Managing Partner, adding that the fund already has a $60 million deal pipeline in place.

According to him, Southeast Asia remains a magnet for investors attracted by the region’s growth potential, talent availability, high population and reasonable labour costs, in particular, Singapore has strengthened its position as a hub for innovative start-ups in the region.

“While the pace of investing may have slowed due to economic headwinds, interest in Southeast Asia technology companies remains strong. Given the record amount raised by venture capital funds in the last year, there’s a lot of dry powder for start-ups with strong fundamentals,

“Genesis will continue to finance first-class entrepreneurs who are building high-growth companies built on sustainable business models,” he added.

Genesis extends debt to revenue-generating, high-growth companies that are backed by venture capital funds. These start-ups typically do not qualify for regular bank loans because they lack collateral, or have not yet reached profitability, and/or their founders are wary of taking on too much venture capital for fear of diluting their ownership.

The venture debt firm founded by Ben J Benjamin, Jeremy Loh and Martin Tang in 2019, will continue to focus on Southeast Asia’s early and mid-stage high growth technology start-ups (Series B to pre-initial public offering).

“We are delighted to continue backing the Genesis team in their mission to provide less-dilutive funding to entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia. We are firm believers that venture debt will play an important role for start-up founders who are confident of their business growth and recognise the long-term value in complementary financing for working capital and other needs,” said Victor Sassoon, Chairman of Sassoon Investment Corporation.

Shin Kato, Head of Asia Investment Group, Aozora Bank said the Southeast Asian and the Japanese venture ecosystems have long been underserved by credit providers.

“Genesis and Aozora Bank are both tackling this issue in their respective markets, and we are happy to continue our strategic partnership with Genesis to provide non-dilutive capital to innovative and impactful companies through their second fund while exchanging know-how and market insights on Japan and Southeast Asia,” he said.

Jon Medved, Chief Executive Officer of OurCrowd also said the Fund II has a tremendous management team whom he has known for years, leading co-investors, superb performance to date, and a brilliant future in bringing the important asset class of venture debt to the fast-growing Southeast Asia market.

“When we add the power of our global OurCrowd community to Genesis’ already great story, we are confident that this is about to get only better,” he said.

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