The Swiss start-up scene has grown strongly in recent years. This applies both to the number of start-ups and to people in the ecosystem. Moreover, private individuals in Switzerland traditionally often co-finance entrepreneurial projects in their environment. The potential for private investment is therefore huge. However, the already fragmented Swiss start-up scene has become even more complex due to the dynamic development of the last few years. As a result, it is difficult for potential investors to find start-ups that appeal to them personally. This is particularly challenging in the seed and pre-seed phase when start-ups have not yet been able to draw attention to themselves with achievements.
Therefore, Swisspreneur, the #1 business podcast in Switzerland, has recently launched its own syndicate. The Swisspreneur syndicate serves to connect investors with exceptional founder talents from the Swisspreneur community for pre-seed and seed investments.
Silvan Krähenbühl, Managing Director at Swisspreneur explains: "Thanks to our large community, we have very early access to deals that would otherwise not be on the market at all, or only at significantly poorer conditions. The start-ups have mostly been part of our community for several years, participating in our events, and so we already know both the founders and the start-up very well."
Adressing investor newcomers
The minimum ticket size is a low 5000 francs, so the threshold for investments is lowered. On the investor side, the Swisspreneur Syndicate primarily addresses newcomers who want to invest smaller amounts than are usually invested by angel investors. The investor community is also built up via the existing Swisspreneur network, which includes interview guests from over 200 interviews, the Founders Community with over 250 people and social media and newsletter channels.
The Swisspreneur team regularly prepares investment memos and sends them to investors, currently 70 people. They then carry out their own due diligence and make an investment decision individually, case by case. If they are interested, they sign up for the round and Swisspreneur decides after the deadline how much to invest in the start-up.
The investors pay CHF 100 per investor per case to cover administrative costs. In addition, there is a 15% performance fee (carried interest) in the event of success. There is no management fee.
Aiming to be the first investor in seed rounds
Swisspreneur represents the investors in relation to the start-up. Swisspreneur is the only entry on the start-up's cap table and the direct point of contact for the start-up regarding the investment made.
Due to the digital processes in the background and the existing community, the Swisspreneur Syndicate can give start-ups an investment commitment within two to three weeks. "We don't see ourselves as the lead in financing rounds, but as the first mover, so that the start-up can close the round more quickly afterwards and find a lead investor with our commitment in its pocket," explains Krähenbühl.
The syndicate already boasts a first deal.The first investment has been made in Jurata, a Zurich-based legal tech start-up. The company recently announced the closing of its pre-seed funding round of CHF 500k. Further investments are in the pipeline.
More information for investors and start-ups is available on the website of Swisspreneur.