2018: Switzerland’s year of Venture Capital

06 March 2019,   By   

It’s no secret: Switzerland is a financial powerhouse with its global insurance and banking industry. However, it is not so commonly known that the small country in the Alps is also pretty big when it comes to venture capital. According to the Swiss venture capital report, Swiss startups received about CHF 1.24 billion in investments in 2018, which is an increase of 31.8% in comparison to the previous year.

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Alone the Swiss fundraising expert VentureLab organized in total 375 events last year and supported more than 1,000 Swiss startups while raising 735 million francs in investments. Not surprisingly, the most successful startups are located within the information and communications technology sector. We @Venionaire can literally see and feel the investment boom in the 26 cantons. In comparison, the report mentions the raised capital by startups in the UK and Germany with USD 2.6 billion and USD 2.3 billion respectively – the top VC countries in Europe by volume.

However, Switzerland is by far leading, if you compare the startup investment spending in early-stage companies per capita: Theoretically, every Swiss invests USD 147.6 in startups, while every Brit invests USD 39,4 and every German only USD 27.7. It is quite impressive how big the small country is in business!


Great VC efforts

Why is the country so successful? If you have a closer look at Switzerland you will discover a lot of efforts by the Swiss government as well as private organisations trying to foster Switzerland as an attractive startup hub. Great education possibilities (5 of top 100 universities worldwide are located in Switzerland), a high-tech environment not only in the prosperous fintech sector and government initiatives such as funding startups with half a billion CHF in 2018 or the Swiss entrepreneurs foundation pushing the agenda forward. Switzerland also established itself successfully as “Cryptovalley”: cryptovalley.swiss is one of the worlds leading Blockchain and Cryptographic Technology Ecosystems with over 754 startups, service providers and other organizations in the blockchain sector. Projects like Digital Switzerland helped to accelerate the startup economy, while the Kickstart Accelerator bridges the gap between startups, corporates, cities, foundations and universities to accelerate deep tech innovation.

Last but not least, the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association is also very open-minded, having an own chapter solely concentrating on the fields of innovation processes, venture capital and startup companies in Switzerland and their role for the Swiss economy.


The top-5 funded Swiss startups 2018

(via Swiss venture capital report):

  1. SEBA Crypto (ICT, fintech) – 100 Mio CHF
    Investors: BlackRiver Asset Management, Summer Capital, private investors
  2. Nexthink (ICT) – 84.2 Mio CHF
    Investors: Index Ventures, Highland Europe, Forestay Capital, VI Partners, Auriga Partners, Galéo Capital, TOP Funds, private investors
  3. WayRay (ICT) – 77 Mio CHF
    Investors: Porsche, Hyundai Motors, Alibaba Group, China Merchants Capital, JVCKENWOOD, JBIC, consortium of sovereign wealth funds
  4. Therachon (biotech) – 59.4 Mio CHF
    Investors: Novo Holdings, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Pfizer Ventures, Tekla Capital Management, Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, Bpifrance, Inserm Transfert Initiative
  5. Chronext (ICT) – 33.2 Mio CHF
    Investors: Endeit Capital, Tengelmann Ventures, Octopus Ventures, Partech Ventures, Capnamic


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