New challenges, new opportunities

These economically uncertain times have not led to a slowdown in business activities, but rather to an intensification. Start-ups are opening up new opportunities and seizing them with determination.

Dear reader

Is there a recession? Is the crisis in the global tech sector worsening? Nobody can say for sure. But what can be observed is that these uncertain times are opening up growth paths for start-ups. Travel tech company TrekkSoft has invested in a Berlin software start-up in order to better tap into the museum market. BODDY has merged with Danish start-up TrainAway in order to build the world’s largest well-being network for travellers. sold it flagship product and raised additional CHF2.6 million. ETH Zurich spin-off Sleepiz, which developed a sleep monitoring device, has not made an acquisition, but founded its own subsidiary that has launched a telemedicine service.

It is also clear that sales generation has gained in importance. We reported on several start-ups that are particularly successful on the customer side, including marketing analytics company Windsor, which bootstrapped its financing from the start and has now hit the USD 1 million mark in revenue. Adretto’s rental suits are also very popular: the company expanded into Germany in 2022 and has tripled its turnover. Laboratory automation start-up SEED Biosciences expects to triple sales in key markets such as North America and APAC in the coming year, thanks to a new partnership.

However, the current situation does not mean that venture capital to young companies has dried up completely. Nanoflex Robotics has managed to raise USD 12 million: founded in 2021, the start-up is developing a soft medical robotic system to treat neurovascular and vascular disease.

Nevertheless, times are not easy – customer service platform Mila has had to shut down operations. The unsettled situation means that although start-ups may have more opportunities, they also face more and more serious challenges.

The support programmes are a stabilising factor. Venturelab will take a total of 20 Swiss start-ups to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: in addition to 10 Venture Leaders, the names of 10 further start-ups were announced this week. The AIT Singapore programme, in which 10 university spin-offs will participate, will also start at the end of February.

Applications for the Swiss-Israeli Lean Launchpad programme and the Future of Food bootcamp from swissnex Brazil are now open.

The first selection round has already taken place for the WA de Vigier Foundation Award and on 23 February 50 start-ups will pitch to go through to the next round – broadcast via livestream.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,