Despite a challenging global funding landscape, Swiss startups continued to see notable traction in 2022, securing a record of CHF 3.8 billion in funding between January and November, data from Startup.ch show. The sum represents a 27% increase compared to the same period the previous year.
2022 also saw numerous venture capital (VC) funds securing capital and many of them are now standing ready to invest in promising startups.
Data from Venturelab, a Swiss organization focusing on supporting young ventures, reveal that 34 Swiss VC firms have closed a new fund over the past year or so, and are looking for investment opportunities.
Of these 34 VCs, 14 are either focused on fintech, insurtech or regtech, or have a track record supporting startups in the sectors.
Founded in 2018, Backbone Ventures is an early-stage VC firm based in Zurich and Frankfurt am Main that focuses on early-stage companies operating in the information and communications technology, food tech, and disruptive technologies sectors. The firm’s mission is to achieve a positive impact for the next generation by supporting outstanding entrepreneurs to reach new levels of success.
Backbone Ventures has a track record of 28 investments with already two successful exits so far. It counts fintech companies Neon, Findependent and Levo among its portfolio companies.
In November 2022, Backbone Ventures closed its 5502 Fund, a fund which focuses on Germany and Switzerland and which intends to provide the first financing for extraordinary founders of technology-driven, high-growth businesses. Over the next four years, the fund aims to invest between EUR 300,000 and EUR 500,000 in 25-30 teams of underprivileged outperformers in Germany and Switzerland.
Btov Partners is a European VC firm, managing roughly EUR 510 million in institutional funds, partner funds and direct investments of private investors. With teams in St. Gallen, Zurich, Berlin, Munich and Luxemburg, the firm works with seasoned entrepreneurs and business angels to back the most promising startups across Europe.
Btov Partners portfolio companies include fintech startups SumUp, Raisin, Forget Finance, Ledgy, Procuros, Finway and Neon.
Btov Partners closed a digital technologies early-stage fund in September 2021 with a volume of US$135 million. The fund concentrates on topics such as artificial intelligence, digital health, fintech, logistics, business-to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SaaS) and marketplaces, all across Europe and focuses on seed and Series A stages.
Founded in 2016, EquityPitcher Ventures is an early-growth VC firm that supports promising startups from the German, Austrian and Swiss (DACH) region. The firm seeks to invest in information technology, healthcare, energy, materials and resources, and financial services sectors.
Through close cooperation with renowned industry experts, investors and exit partners, EquityPitcher Ventures is paving the way for entrepreneurs to attain the three decisive success factors: capital, know-how and network.
EquityPitcher Ventures closed its second fund in November 2022. The fund focuses on startups from the DACH region and already counts 20 portfolio companies from 12 different industries. Fintech, insurtech and regtech startups the firm has backed include Calingo, Sinpex, Vestr and YukkaLab.
Founded in 2016, F10 is an incubator, accelerator, and early-stage investor focused on fintech, insurtech, regtech and deeptech. Its incubation and acceleration programs help startups in connecting with entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, and investors for early stage venture and late stage venture investing. The company was founded in Zurich and currently has operating hubs in Switzerland, Singapore, Nordics and the Baltics, and Spain.
F10 has supported more than 250 tech startups so far, among which Splint Invest, Relio, Stableton Financial, Apiax and CoverGo.
In April 2022, F10 secured capital in the “mid-single-digit million range” from external investors and the leadership team through a management buy-in. The organization said it plans to use the proceeds to expand its geographical reach and launch a seed fund to fuel startup growth.
Formerly known as Avaloq Ventures, FiveT Fintech privately and directly invests in and supports exceptional entrepreneurs redesigning financial services through digitization and the use of cutting-edge technologies.
FiveT Fintech helps and advises banks and financial service providers to venture into new areas and provides early-stage fintech companies a platform to prosper and scale. The firm works closely together with Avaloq’s ecosystem consisting of over 150 financial institutions, spread across more than 30 countries with over US$4.5 billion in client assets, as well as 120+ fintech startups.
FiveT Fintech span off from the group in September 2021. Portfolio companies include Metaco, Blockpit, Coinfirm and Blocksize Capital.
Founded in 2018, L1 Digital is a Zurich-based independent investment manager founded by experienced partners with a proven track record. The firm focuses on digital assets and blockchain technology, striving to provide investors with access to this new asset class by sourcing the best crypto and blockchain investments globally through funds, co-investments and directs; diversifying across strategies, geographies and managers; and providing institutional quality structuring, due diligence and monitoring.
L1 Digital is a fairly new venture, having received its license as a manager of collective assets from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in January 2022. Collective investment vehicles involves investors pooling their money to invest in funds, rather than buying securities directly.
L1 Digital says it manages around US$500 million in assets from institutional clients such as pension funds, family offices and wealth managers.
Redalpine Venture Partners
Founded in 2006, Redalpine Venture Partners is a leading European VC investor based in Switzerland with offices in Zurich and Berlin. Redalpine Venture Partners is a seed and early-stage venture investor focusing on disruptive technologies and highly scalable information and communications technology (ICT) and healthtech models.
The firm supports its 80+ portfolio companies, across its 6 funds, not only with financial investments but also with its in-house operational and subject matter expertise and an extensive international network.
Redalpine Venture Partners has a long-standing history of investing in the most promising entrepreneurs with breakthrough ideas, having backed companies such as N26 and Taxfix. It
claims it has more than CHF 1 billion in assets under management (AUM) and says its portfolio companies have created more than 10,000 jobs and raised almost CHF 3 billion in funding thus far.
Redalpine Venture Partners launched a new private equity fund called the Summit Fund in March 2022 with a target volume of CHF 1 billion to be invested in 100 deals. In the last 15 years, the Zurich-based private equity house has already launched six funds.
TX Ventures is a corporate venture arm of TX Group based in Zurich, which seeks to invest in fintech companies across Europe. The company invests in fintech, insurtech, proptech and crypto startups, focusing on seed funding and Series A with initial tickets ranging from CHF 500,000 to CHF 5 million.
TX Ventures has built a strong investment track record with investments such as Neon, Stableton, Pricehubble, and exits such as Moneypark. It currently counts 11 startups in its portfolio.
The firm launched in December 2022 a European CHF 100 million fintech investment fund with a particular focus on startups from the DACH region.
Launched in 2021, Lightbird Ventures is a VC firm based in Bern. The firm focuses on early-state B2B SaaS, proptech, fintech, insurtech, cybersecurity and data and analytics companies.
Lightbird Ventures invests in ambitious founding teams that use technology to solve real problems for real people and real businesses. The firm invests globally but mainly focuses on the Swiss and European markets.
The VC firm is managed through the independent investment management company Marcau Partners and fueled by its sole investor la Mobilière, Switzerland’s oldest private insurance company.
Portfolio companies include fintech and insurtech startups Mistho and Omocom.
Founded in 2019, Serpentine Ventures is the investment arm of the Swiss Ventures Group. The company currently hosts four funds and has invested into 25 startups in the fields of ICT, high tech as well as healthtech companies on a selective basis.
The dedicated unit offers exclusive access to venture capital investments, unlocking new opportunities in the early-stage venture asset class. It claims to be one of the most active early-stage investors.
Serpentine Ventures was founded by experienced entrepreneurs and financial services professionals and works with exceptional entrepreneurial talent to build and invest in technology driven businesses.
Serpentine Ventures’ portfolio companies include fintech and insurtech startups Cybera and Riskwolf.
Founded in late 2019 by startup investors Martin Altorfer and Philippe Bubb, Session.vc is a Swiss-based early-stage investor that backs bold entrepreneurs in the B2B software and consumer space in the DACH region.
Session.vc also provides acceleration services through Session Lab, providing business support and funding ranging from US$150,000 and US$300,000 per project to prepare the companies for a seed round.
Session.vc is backed by their own capital and by that of entrepreneurs and business owners both from tech- and non-tech industries. The firm has backed 19 companies including fintech startup Bexio.
Founded in 2012, Spicehaus Partners is an independent Swiss VC investor, fully owned by its partners. The firm focuses on seed and early-stage companies in the technology sector in Switzerland.
Spicehaus Partners’ team combines investment experience and entrepreneurship. The firm seeks to create long-term partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors and actively works with its portfolio companies on their journey to success.
Since 2012, Spicehaus Partners has invested in 34 startups and has been part of some of Switzerland’s most successful exits including MOVU (acquired by Baloise) and Bexio (acquired by Mobiliar). Fintech, insurtech and regtech companies in its portfolio currently include Amnis, Fidentity, Vlot and Descartes Finance.
Verve Capital Partners
Founded in 2010, Verve Ventures is a network and technology-driven VC firm headquartered in Switzerland. The company invests from EUR 500,000 to several million from seed to Series B and beyond across Europe.
The firm’s dedicated team helps startups with their most pressing needs such as hiring, client introductions and access to an expert network of high-profile individuals. It says it is one of the most active venture investors in Europe with over 140 technology and science-driven startups in its portfolio.
Verve Ventures’ portfolio companies include fintech and insurtech startups Wefox, EstateGuru, Oper.
Verve Ventures raised its first VC fund and closed the first capital call with over CHF 45 million committed capital from private investors, family offices, and institutional investors in June 2022. The Verve Venture Fund I invests in the best-performing startups among the company’s portfolio. It aims to accelerate the development of 15-20 companies across Europe in the fields of science and technology with a solid track record at attractive valuations.
Founded in 2018, Wingman Ventures is a VC firm based in Zurich. The firm invests in pre-seed, and seed-stage technology startups, backing founder teams building tech companies with the potential to become global market leaders.
Wingman Ventures commits anywhere between CHF 100,000 and CHF 1 million as an initial investment. It also provides the companies it supports with guidance on finance, legal, team and expansion, sales and marketing, as well as their next fundraise.
Fintech and insurtech startups in its portfolio include Grape and Numarics.
Wingman Ventures is reportedly planning to raise a new US$120 million fund to continue to support Switzerland-based technology companies at pre-seed stage.