As resilient as traditional companies

Resilience has long been one of the strengths of traditional Swiss companies. And in the current crisis start-ups are proving they have the same quality.

Dear reader

Two Swiss tech companies were acquired by internationally renowned firms this week. FemtoTools’ devices enable the imaging of mechanical properties of intricate microstructures for materials research and semiconductor applications. The ETH Zurich spin-off joins British company Oxford Instruments, which is paying up to CHF 24 million. Windyty, operator of well-known global weather service, has acquired a majority stake in meteoblue: the University of Basel spin-off has made a name for itself with particularly accurate weather forecasts.

There is currently a lot of talk about resilience at start-up events. Traditional Swiss companies have long been characterised by resilience, but this has not always been the case for start-ups. Both the crisis following the end of the internet hype at the turn of the millennium and the financial crisis a few years later had a massive impact on the Swiss start-up scene and led to years of sluggishness. In the current crisis, which features low investment and few exits, Swiss start-ups are doing better, as shown not only by these two acquisitions.

Digital health start-up Rivia has secured almost CHF 3 million to bring AI analytics and advanced data infrastructure to clinical trials. Drone Harmony has raised CHF 2 million for its expansion into the US. Fintech start-up findependent, known for its investment app, has received CHF 1.5 million and intends to increase this amount further with a crowdinvesting campaign. Three crypto companies have also attracted investment: BrickMark, Zyfi and Elysium Lab.

Speaking of fintech, the Swiss Fintech Awards were presented this week. Fribourg start-up Neur.on was named Early Stage Start-up of the Year and GenTwo won the award for Best Growth Stage Start-up. However, this week also saw a setback in the financial industry. Finma has opened bankruptcy proceedings against FlowBank, which was founded in 2019 and received a banking licence in 2020.

The Startfeld Diamant and Startfeld Rohdiamant awards were presented in St. Gallen this week. The main prize went to novaziun – the start-up has developed an electric single-axle vehicle. Ionic Wind Technologies won the award in the category for younger start-up projects: the start-up develops ventilation systems that efficiently and silently convert electricity directly into air movement.

The event season is in full swing. Next week you can meet me at the >>venture>> award ceremony and at the SEF.Growth event on strategic partnerships. I will also be attending the WA de Vigier Foundation awards ceremony, which will be streamed live.

I would also like to draw your attention to the deadline for both Venture Leaders Cleantech and the Climate Collider programme on 23 June. Those wishing to exhibit at Expo Osaka or Bio Europe or take part in the next TechBBQ Copenhagen have until the end of June to apply. And the application deadline for Innosuisse’s Scale-up Coaching programme is next Monday. 

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora 

Editor in Chief