Quicker in practice

The digital transformation is making relatively slow progress in Switzerland. Aggressive growth start-ups, larger investments and new accelerator programmes will increase the pace.

Dear reader

This week two Swiss start-ups acquired other companies: Nexxiot has bought Swedish tech company Most, and Synhelion has taken over a spin-off from the German Aerospace Center. In both cases, the Swiss companies secured complementary technology that will complete their offerings. Nexxiot now has an IOT solution to create full transparency for cargo shipments around the globe, and Synhelion will be able to offer a complete system for solar fuel production. Ultimately, the acquisitions allow faster market conquest.

External growth is a new phenomenon for Swiss start-ups. This aggressive growth course requires the appropriate financial resources and in that respect things continue to look good this year. Swiss start-ups have received more than CHF 70 million since Monday, with the lion’s share of nearly CHF 47 million going to Frontify with its SaaS brand management solution. Archlet, which also offers a B2B SaaS solution, generated another CHF 9 million. Archlet allows its customers, which include PepsiCo and Deutsche Bahn, to optimise their procurement processes based on data. And two further B2B SaaS start-ups – smino and Earny – announced the completion of financing rounds. All takeovers, investments and exits can be found in our new section ‘Financing’.

Potential partners are also increasing their activities. Ruag has launched a start-up accelerator programme, which is currently open for applications – we talked to the person in charge about the goals and the start-ups Ruag is looking for. The Cyber Startup Challenge from the Cyber Defence Campus took place for the second consecutive year – Decentriq was the winner.

These activities are important for Switzerland, as they could improve a weakness uncovered by the IMD’s latest Digital Competitiveness Report. Although the report places Switzerland in sixth place, rapid implementation of the digital transformation remains a challenge in practice.

Venture Kick has been giving the very beginning of the start-up lifecycle a push for years. The latest winners are robotics start-up Isochronic and Matis, which has developed a technology to authenticate works of art.

Now the summer holidays are over, the application phases for some important competitions begin, including the WA de Vigier Foundation, the IMD Startup Competition, ≫venture≫ competition, ESA BIC Switzerland and DayOne.

The hybrid Trust Valley Day will take place next week, followed by the Startup Champions Event with two Venture Leaders teams at ETH Zurich on Tuesday. Ten years of Impact Hub Zurich will be celebrated on Friday at Kraftwerk, and the Startup Forum with 300 participants will take place on 11 October at the OLMA in St. Gallen.

Have a sunny autumnal weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch