A global perspective

Global corporates and VCs invest in Swiss start-ups – and start-ups grow by acquiring companies abroad. The view that Swiss start-ups are not active enough internationally is no longer true.

Dear reader

Start-up 9T Labs focuses on advanced carbon composite manufacturing technology. This week, the firm, which already has numerous large companies from the aviation and medtech sectors among its customers, closed a financing round of more than USD 17 million. Key investors include Solvay and global 3D printing pioneer Stratasys, two groups that know the market and technology very well.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Group, a global leader in equipment and vehicle logistics, has become an investor in Equippo, an online marketplace for used construction machinery. And other Swiss start-ups have also attracted impressive financial investors: Sequoia has acquired a stake in Creable, which has developed a software solution with which influencers can manage their entire business. Expa, also based in Silicon Valley and launched by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, has become a lead investor in Certifaction.

Swiss start-ups are also striving for rapid international growth and increasingly taking over other companies. Two acquisitions were made this week: digital health start-up Online Doctor strengthened its AI business by purchasing a German university spin-off, and Squirro has bought in the US to expand its reach there.

In view of such successes, I am sometimes amazed that people believe that Swiss start-ups are not ambitious enough and too fixated on Switzerland. Swiss start-ups are often active in niches, but they know the global markets very well and try to tackle them early on. Proof of this is provided by the 12 Swiss start-ups taking part in 12 trade fairs worldwide in the first half of 2022 with the support of Innosuisse.

However, rapid growth requires that sufficient funds are available for product development. This is particularly true for deep tech start-ups with their higher capital requirements. Switzerland is now well positioned in terms of support in this early phase. This week, three deeptech start-ups secured CHF 150,000 each from the Innobooster programme, and AI Retailer Systems received CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick. BaseLaunch is supporting three biotech start-ups with up to CHF 500,000, and FIT in canton Vaud has granted loans to SEED Biosciences and Shematic of CHF 400,000 and CHF 100,000, respectively.

Deadlines for key support programmes are fast approaching. Registration is open for MassChallenge Switzerland until 28 February, for Tech4Eva, an equity-free virtual accelerator for women’s health technology, until 1 March and for >>venture>> until 3 March. Applications are open for the next Venture Day in Zurich until 1 March. I would also like to mention the Mobile Startup Pitchfest in Barcelona on 2 March, which will be broadcast online.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch