Continuous growth in a difficult environment: almost CHF 4 billion for Swiss start-ups in 2022

Investment in technology-based start-ups increased by 30% last year. This is indicated by the current Swiss Venture Capital Report published by the news portal and the investor association SECA, in cooperation with

Inflation, the energy crisis, war in Ukraine, difficulties in global supply chains: in 2022, the conditions for ambitious young technology companies were anything but easy. Nevertheless, the long-standing growth trend in the Swiss venture capital market continued. The number of financing rounds increased by 7.9% compared with the previous year, and the total amount invested by as much as 29.7%. The invested capital has almost doubled since 2020 and more than quadrupled since 2017.

The ICT and cleantech sectors recorded a well above average increase in investment. ICT  start-ups, including fintech, attracted more than CHF 2 billion in 2022; cleantech start-ups received CHF 826.9 million, not least thanks to the mega round of Zurich-based Climeworks.

Zurich profits from ICT boom

The cantonal analysis gives a mixed picture: in Basel-Stadt, for example, investment plainly declined. The local biotech companies suffered from the downward trend in the industry observed worldwide. Conversely, cantons with a strong base in the areas of ICT and fintech benefited. In canton Zurich, total investment rose by almost two thirds. All together, Zurich start-ups attracted more than CHF 2 billion in 2022, a little more than 50% of all Swiss investment. Distinct growth was also seen in Geneva and Zug.

Fast growing range of venture capital funds

There is also good news from the other end of the investment cycle: sales of young Swiss tech companies to industry-related large companies increased again. In the 2010s, the number of trade sales fluctuated between 20 and 30. In the last year alone, almost 50 Swiss ICT companies ­– including fintech – found new owners.

Although only four transactions took place in medtech, the volume was considerable: US company Cordis, for example, undertook to pay up to a maximum of USD 1.1 billion for the acquisition of Vaud-based MedAlliance.

The successful exits of the past two years have also led to a significant increase in VC fund launches. According to the report’s annual survey, no fewer than 55 VC funds were in the fundraising phase at the end of 2022, with the majority of providers targeting an investment volume of more than CHF 100 million.

Swiss Venture Capital Report 2023 is available as a PDF at: