Clothes, tofu and watches

It is not always about IT and biotech: news from start-ups that are rethinking consumer goods.

Dear reader

For 2023, Swiss Venture Capital Report listed 35 financing rounds with start-ups from the consumer products sector. Ten years ago, there were only four. An analysis by sector shows that the lion’s share of venture capital continues to flow into high-margin sectors such as ICT or biotech, but with a good idea, attractive business cases can also be developed in the consumer sector.

There are several reasons for this and one is certainly the ever-decreasing wastage in digital advertising. Influencers can be used to address people with specific needs in a very targeted manner. The TX Group has realised this and entered into an exclusive partnership with Kingfluencers, a pioneer in the field of influencer marketing.

Our article on consumer innovations presents start-ups that make leggings made from recycled PET, innovative smartphone cases and natural cosmetics. Thurgau-based start-up Ensoy has entered into business with Migros: founder Lukas Rösch expects 250 to 300 new points of sale for his tofu made from organic soya. Altr. deals in luxury collectibles: the Ticino start-up has launched a lending platform that turns luxury collectibles such as watches into liquid assets through competitive short and medium-term loans.

Food Brewer is a classic foodtech business: the Zurich-based company uses plant cell culture to develop cell lines of cocoa and coffee beans that mature in tanks into harvest-ready cell masses. A seed round has brought in CHF 5 million, with investors including premium chocolate manufacturer Felchlin.

Other financing rounds of the week: Mobiliar has invested CHF 4 million in Fairie, a spin-off of car subscription provider Carvolution. Women’s health biotech start-up FimmCyte announced an investment of CHF 1 million as a convertible loan from the UZH Life Sciences Fund. Vaud-based medtech start-up Artiria Medical raised USD 6 million in a series A2 round. Aktiia, developer of a blood pressure monitoring bracelet, brought in CHF 27 million, and Zug-based blockchain start-up Validation Cloud generated USD 5.8 million in a first round with external investors.

There was also a lot going on in the pre-seed area. Four foundations awarded start-up grants last week: FONGIT Innovation Fund (FIF), Gebert Rüf Stiftung’s First Ventures programme, the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) and Venture Kick.

Finally, registration is open for femtech accelerator Tech4Eva and the Female Founder Accelerator programme until mid-March. Applications for the Swiss Fintech Awards must be made by Tuesday.

Fintech will also be the topic next Thursday in Rotkreuz: the influence of financial technology on the economy as a whole will be discussed at the IFZ FinTech Konferenz, organised by the Institute of Financial Services Zug.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Jost Dubacher