Privilège Ventures relies on CEOs to find promising founders

Privilège Ventures will give some of the most experienced CEOs of portfolio companies “tickets” to invest into startups run by younger, pre-seed stage founders. The first participants of the CEO scouting program will be Lea von Bidder, Emile de Rijk and Pascal König.

Originally conceived by Sequoia Capital in California, one of the leading global VCs, the aim Privilège Ventures' new program is to be involved even earlier with the most capable founders. It is expected that selected CEOs will want to help some of the most promising startups in their own ecosystem, companies that are still well below the radar of professional investors. While the funds disbursed in that way come from the general investment budget of Privilège Ventures III, the financial rewards stemming from this “ticket” (i.e. the profit share associated with it) will flow to the CEOs.

The first participants in the program will be Lea von Bidder, co-founder and CEO of AVA AG in Zurich, Emile de Rijk, co-founder and CEO of Swissto12 SA in Renens (Lausanne) and Pascal König, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at AVA AG. Other CEOs will be added as Privilège grows and scales further.

Lucian Wagner, General Partner, mentioned that “I have known Emile since 2014. He executed a much-needed pivot in trying circumstances to find product market fit with 3D printed satellite antennas. By now, Swissto12 is a true scaleup and extending its portfolio to further communication products. Emile is well respected by his peers and is often solicited for advice by younger founders.”

“We have been able to appreciate over the years the strong capabilities of both Lea and Pascal. As co-founders of one of the most well-known startups in Switzerland they are really helping women to better know their bodies.” comments Jacqueline Ruedin-Rüsch, General Partner “I have been particularly impressed with Lea’s ability to take action when needed, even in challenging situations.”

Privilège Ventures is the venture arm of Privilège Management SA with offices in Lugano and Zurich. Fund I and II are now fully invested in a total of 24 companies mainly based in Switzerland and surrounding countries. Currently fund raising for Fund III with a first closing expected in March 2021.

(Press release / SK)Picture: Lea von Bidder, Pascal König, Emile de Rijk