Energy crisis brings big and small firms together

For a long time, large Swiss companies were hesitant to work with start-ups. But the energy crisis is now bringing established and young companies together.

Dear reader

The year-end sprint is in full swing, with the news flow even increasing over the last few days. And the involvement of large Swiss companies is significant and gratifying. SWISS has joined Synhelion’s investors: the start-up raised a total of CHF 22 million in its financing round. The money will be used to build the world’s first industrial plant to produce sustainable fuel using solar heat.

Insolight secured CHF 4.6 million for the scale-up and commercial roll-out of its agrivoltaic solution. One of the lead investors is the Smart Energy Innovation Fund from Energie 360°, a Zurich-based sustainable energy and mobility service provider. And another Swiss energy supplier, Romande Energie, has become involved as an investor in Proxipel, which has developed a mobile pellet plant.

Although Swiss companies have long been hesitant to invest in and collaborate with start-ups, the trend towards sustainability is now bringing about a turnaround. In addition, Swiss cleantech companies are attracting big names abroad: Daphne Technology has raised CHF 3 million from institutional investors advised by JP Morgan.

Younergy, on the other hand, searched for and found investors among its customers. The company has raised CHF 7.7 million in an oversubscribed bond issue and is now tackling international expansion. Incidentally, in an article by my colleague Jost Dubacher, we report on the background to the current crowdinvesting boom.

However, not only sustainable start-ups made positive headlines this week. The medtech sector provided a spectacular exit: a US company took over start-up AMF Medical for up to USD 200 million, of which more than USD 60 million was cash due at closing. AMF develops an insulin patch pump designed to simplify the lives of diabetics.

Future highflyers can certainly be found among this week’s winners. IMD announced the names of the 30 start-ups that will work together with EMBA and MBA classes as part of the Startup Competition in the coming year. The award ceremony of the Boldbrain Challenge took place in Lugano, where a biotech project won ahead of another life sciences start-up. For Venture Leaders Mobile, 10 start-ups have been selected to represent Switzerland in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress.

The application deadline for Venture Leaders Technology is 15 January: 10 technology start-ups are sought for an intensive business development trip to Silicon Valley. Applications for the WA de Vigier Foundation award are open until 6 January.

This is the last newsletter for this year; the next one will appear on 6 January. In the meantime, we will continue to provide you with the latest news on the website.

To everyone, a happy Christmas and all the best for 2023.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,