2016 was a record year in terms of investments in Swiss startups with CHF 900 mio. This satisfying number brings Switzerland to the 6. position on the European map behind the “Big Four” Israel, Germany, UK and France. Sweden makes it to the 5. position and shows very good traction in its ecosystem (thanks to Spotify).

This year has been intensive so far with many investments between CHF 0.5 – 5 mio. during the last months in different industries: Healthcare, AI, SaaS, Big data, eService, etc and also in many different regions of Switzerland. So far in 2017 we are missing the “big shots” >50 mio CHF Investments but we’ve had several investments at or above CHF 10 mio., for example the latest announcement of Squirro.

As reminder from 2016, about 70% of investments was provided from foreign investors like Angels, Family Office, Corporate ventures or VC. It seems this trend keeps going on in 2017 with many interesting cases getting investment from investors located in other countries as Switzerland. The cases BestMile with money from Partech Venture, Serena Capital and Boing Venture or recently Squirro with investments from Orange Growth Capital and Salesforce Venture.

Swiss ecosystem is getting traction

All in all it seems the Swiss ecosystem is getting traction and 2017 may be a good year again with several promising financing rounds. Important are the following facts in our opinion:

  • Every possible foreign investments in Swiss based startups needs to be welcomed. These investments allow startups to hire new talents, develop their product and grow their market. Also Swiss startups profit from best-of-class international network and knowledge.
  • Swiss investors need to be encouraged to emphasize more on investment in Swiss startups. Only then can Swiss startups expand worldwide and play a major global role.
  • This is the maxime of the newly founded Swiss Entrepreneur Foundation adding a new Fund of Funds-structure enabling investors to invest more money in Swiss entrepreneurs.

In order to further scale the Swiss startup ecosystem we need all ingredients from the investment side: well-known worldwide investors, Swiss based investors and a strong Fund of Funds-structure in order to raise more growth capital.

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Author Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director digitalswitzerland

Managing Director

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