Healthcare start-ups get off to a quick start

At the turn of the year and into the beginning of the new year, medtech and digital health start-ups in particular caused a stir. They reported not only investments but also success in studies and on the market.

Dear reader 

I hope you enjoyed the festive break and are now full of drive and ideas for 2024. Although life has been slower, start-ups from the healthcare sector in particular have made the headlines.

LEM Surgical develops robotic platforms for spinal surgery and has closed a series B round of CHF 22 million. The Bern-based start-up intends to use the funds to prepare its robotic system for FDA approval.

Winterthur start-up Scewo, known for its stair-climbing wheelchair, secured CHF 9 million in a new financing round. The money will be used to enter the US market; the company also wants to get closer to the profitability threshold.

Scailyte has sold its endometriosis diagnostic assets and associated IP to US company Hera Biotech. Based on Scailyte’s work, Hera plans to bring its first non-invasive diagnostic product to the market in 2024.

Altoida and Ocumeda also work at the interface of IT and healthcare. Altoida has presented a study that shows that its solution sets new standards for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. And Ocumeda is on course for expansion with its eye check-up platform, not least thanks to a partnership with Fielmann.

One of Switzerland’s particular strengths is its ecosystem in the life sciences sector, which includes not only product developers but also service providers such as VIO Chemicals. The company specialises in the customised design and production of speciality chemicals, intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). Biosynth, also based in Switzerland, has acquired the company in order to offer complex chemical solutions at greater scale. Biosynth, which has been majority owned by well-known private equity houses since 2021, is pursuing a rapid growth strategy.

Procavea, on the other hand, is at the very beginning. The biotech start-up, which operates in the field of RNA therapeutics, has just secured CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick.

The new Swiss Venture Capital Report will provide a review of the whole of 2023. In addition to investments, the report will once again include the results of a survey of Swiss investors, an overview of venture capital fundraising and a list of exits. We will present the report on 30 January at two events in Zurich and Lausanne. You can register for the event in Zurich in your profile and also pre-order a print copy of the report.

Next week marks the definitive start of the start-up year. The global kick-off will be at CES Las Vegas, where a total of 34 exhibitors from Switzerland will take part. Our article introduces the participating start-ups. Finally, I would like to point out two awards now open for registration: Startfeld Diamant until 21 January and the Swiss Economic Award until 26 January.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora 

Editor in Chief,