High-calibre network demands better framework conditions for green fintechs

Initiated by the State Secretariat for International Finance SIF, the Green Fintech Network includes experts from start-ups, corporates, investors, universities and support organisations. Today the group has launched its action plan containing 16 concrete proposals ranging from a fund of funds to an annual innovation challenge.  

The Green Fintech Network, an informal group of experts from the green digital finance ecosystem, contributes to this ambition. Its goal is to identify areas to improve the framework conditions for green digital finance in Switzerland, to suggest concrete actions and to assist in implementing selected actions. CEOs of start-ups like Celsius Pro, Rep Risk or Yova are members as well as supporters – Gerrit Sindermann (F10), Mariana Christen Jakob (SEIF) – and experts from Übermorgen Ventures, EY, Swisscom and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.

Out of the 16 demands, several are explicitly addressing the conditions for start-ups. The most important:  

Increase Pension Fund Flexibility to invest in Green Fintechs
Pension funds have a fiduciary duty to create long-term returns for their members, whilst mi­nimizing risks.
They should have the regulatory flexibility to fully profit from opportunities created by climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

Rapidly introduce Limited Qualified Investor Funds
A swift implementation of the Collective Investment Schemes Act that introduces a Limited Qualified Investor Fund would significantly reduce the hurdles for venture capital firms to base their funds in Switzerland.

Establish a Fund of Funds dedicated to Green Fintechs
To foster the availability of capital for green fintechs, a fund of funds could be established that invests in venture capital funds that have a focus on Swiss green fintechs.
It could be financed by the Swiss government, for example through the issuance of green tech bonds.

Optimize support by funding agencies, such as Innosuisse
In order to propagate the development of green digital finance, the establishment of distinct research funding opportunities as well as the integration into research networks and commu­nities is vital.

Establish a Swiss Green Fintech Map
A prerequisite for a leading green digital finance hub is not only to produce excellent green digital finance solutions, but also to make them visible to a global audience of potential clients and investors.

Establish an annual Innovation Challenge for Green Fintechs
To be able to attract the most talented global entrepreneurs to launch their green fintech in Switzerland, it is crucial to identify innovative global ideas in early stages of their development.

The Network sees its proposals as concrete incentives for authorities, associations, and the scientific and business communities to drive forward promising innovative solutions. A broad discussion of these proposals is planned at a round table moderated by Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer on 19 May 2021.

The complete action plan can be downloaded from the website of the State Secretariat for International Finance. 

(Press release / SK)