Start-ups stir up traditional sectors

Megatrends such as sustainability and digitalisation are reshuffling the cards in established industries. Swiss start-ups are taking advantage of the opportunities.

Dear reader

Switzerland offers good conditions for food start-ups, with a dense ecosystem along the entire value chain and a strong Swiss brand that stands for high quality food. But for a long time, new providers found it difficult to break into the phalanx of established companies. However, the trend towards sustainability has shaken up the market and created new opportunities. No other Swiss start-up has exploited this opportunity as consistently as Planted. The company is already the fastest growing alternative protein company in Europe and has now closed another financing round of CHF 70 million.

But Planted is not alone: vertical farming start-up Yasai has secured EUR 1.4 million in a crowdfunding campaign, and ProSeed, which produces a protein powder from beer production waste, is now supported by La Vaudoise.

The five winners of this year’s Swisscom Startup Challenge also focus on the trend towards sustainability and demonstrate the breadth of the subject. The spectrum of solutions range from IoT applications to Industry 4.0 solutions and platforms for the circular economy.

Most of the start-ups that secured funding this week are capitalising on the opportunities created by digitalisation. Skribble secured another CHF 10 million: more than 3,000 companies use the company’s solution to digitise their signature processes. Digital financial advisor Selma received CHF 7 million in new capital, and almost CHF 5 million went to workplace management platform deskbird. In total, the 11 start-ups whose financing rounds we reported on this week generated about CHF 100 million in venture capital.

As usual, there is additional financing, with two start-ups each receiving CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick: Sensawear has developed a new sensor for the prevention of pressure injuries, and SightIn Health’s AI SaaS platform allows easy interpretation of ultrasound recordings.

The awards ceremony of the Top 100 Swiss Startup Award will take place next week: registration for the live stream is still open. You can also meet me and/or my colleague Ritah Nyakato at the ETH Industry Day, the Swiss Fintech Fair and the Kickstart Opening Party.

The deadline for the upcoming ZKB Pionierpreis Technopark Zürich is approaching with applications open until 26 September. Registration for the two Venturelab bootcamps on digital health and life sciences closes this coming Sunday.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,