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Asia’s Sassoon Family Of Coffee Bean Fame Shifts To Venture Debt


(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s Sassoon family is a retail powerhouse. As the clan who brought The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to Asia, they’re often credited for helping spark the craze for Western-style coffee around the region. Now they want to foster another trend: funding loans to startups.

Genesis Alternative Ventures Pte, anchored by family office Sassoon Investment Corp., plans to raise $70 million over the coming 12 months for venture debt financing, people familiar with the matter said. Whereas venture capitalists typically buy stakes in companies via funding rounds or bonds that can convert into shares, venture debt is a subtler business. It involves lending money to early-stage firms that may struggle to borrow from a bank, with relatively lower interest charges.

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