Breaking records in the coronavirus crisis


Some startups offer exactly the tools that are needed now. No wonder they are developing magnificently in contrast to the general trend. Smallpdf, Selma, MySky and Skin Match are four examples.


Smallpdf is a Zurich-based software company that offers users a comprehensive online document solution with a suite of 21 different tools for creating, editing, e-signing, compressing, converting, protecting, and unlocking PDF documents. In April the start-up broke its own record with 30 million visitors on the website around 30% more than in the same period in 2019.

Smallpdf management attributes this growth to the fact that the novel coronavirus has forced the world to rethink the way work is done. Many activities and tasks such as manual document signing or scanning using hardware that were taking place prior to the coronavirus outbreak are no longer viable or practical solutions for getting work done. This has turned the spotlight onto smarter digital document solutions like electronic contract signing, receipts created and shared in PDF format, and scanning and sharing documents using only a smartphone. ‘This is precisely the shift in document management, albeit under unfortunate circumstances, for which Smallpdf’s suite of tools was made,’ COO Christoph Forsting notes.

Despite the easing of lockdown and social distancing measures in many countries around the world, management is confident that Smallpdf is poised to maintain this record level of website visitors. ‘Anyone who had never or only rarely worked remotely or at home before the pandemic has now seen for themselves that remote work not only works , but that it has some tremendous advantages for employees and employers alike,’ says CEO Dennis Just, concluding, ‘There is a strong indication that office workers in particular will continue to rely on digital document solutions, whether at home, on the road, or at work.’

MySky achieves 60% growth in Q1

MySky based in Geneva is an AI-powered spend management platform for the private aviation industry. With MySky, owners, operators and consultants can leverage proprietary IT tools to automate essential tasks including data administration, benchmarking, budgeting, and reporting. The company reported 60% growth in the first quarter of 2020. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the global economy in unprecedented ways, private aviation stakeholders are showing a heightened interest in spend management tools that help users mitigate financial risk, enhance performance, and stay organized.

Skin Match wins Import Parfumerie as a customer

With sales of around CHF 150 million and more than 100 stores, the Import Parfumerie owned by Coop is one of the major players in the Swiss cosmetics market. The young technology company Skin Match has now been able to attract Import Parfumerie as a customer. The start-up helps the retail chain to make the website more attractive. Import Parfumerie is launching an online product consultant with Skin Match technology inside. Customers can indicate their skin care needs, skin type, product preferences and allergies online and receive a personalized care routine selected from the Import Parfumerie inventory. Skin Match algorithm analyzes and compares all attributes, ingredients and special features of each product with the specific needs of the customer and delivers appropriate results on this basis.

1000 new customers and record inflow

Selma, the digital investment advisor, has grown by 1'000 accounts since the beginning of the year despite the Corona crisis. In addition, the Fintech start-up has also seen record inflows from existing customers in the last two months, while there are hardly any outflows. "We are pleased that our users are sticking to their long-term goals. More than 53% of clients have increased their investments during the crisis and are sticking to their long-term plans," explains Patrik Schär, CEO of Selma Finance.

Selma has built a platform that enables anyone to start investing. Based on the financial status of the user, Selma creates a portfolio, optimizes, buys, sells investments and adapts the portfolio to changes in the user and the markets. The exchange between the user and the platform takes place via a chat. The company has been regulated since the beginning of 2017 as an independent asset manager in Switzerland.