Investment in Swiss start-ups has been growing for 10 years. The amount invested has almost tripled since 2018, whereas it took more than five years for it to triple the first time.
The ICT sector, including fintech, was primarily responsible for the increase, with investment growing by no less than CHF 799 million compared with 2020. However, the cleantech and healthcare IT sectors also set records in terms of both the number of financing rounds and funds invested. Biotech start-ups, on the other hand, for once generated less capital than in the previous year.
More and more seed financing
Analysis by investment phase shows that the number of seed investments in particular has risen, with an increase of two thirds to 131 compared with the previous year. The number of early and later stage investments remained practically constant. In terms of the total amount of capital raised, later stage rounds played the decisive role, rising by more than 70% and totalling almost three quarters of the invested capital.
Zurich grows strongly
A look at the location cantons makes it clear that the traditional heavyweights Zurich and Vaud once again made significant gains. In Zurich, investment rose by 102.1% to almost CHF 1.3 billion, and in Vaud by 47.8% to CHF 605 million. However, cantons Ticino, Lucerne and Schwyz also showed a positive development, each collecting more than CHF 100 million.
35 new venture capital funds
The increasing activities of Swiss venture capital funds is a major reason for the good figures. The fund radar lists 35 new investment vehicles in 2021 and fund operators clearly expect the positive exit trend to continue over the coming years. In 2021, a total of 11 Swiss start-ups went public and 55 growth companies were sold to large firms.