The trend is not enough

Sustainability start-ups have a tailwind behind them. But if they really want to be successful, they also have to pay attention to the right strategy and framework conditions.

Dear reader

The ability to change strategy in good time and to implement the changes with determination is a key factor for entrepreneurial success. Nevertheless, it is rarely talked about in Switzerland. The online supermarket Farmy has now set a counterpoint and openly announced that it is switching from a fast growth path to sustainable growth. It has cut about 30% of jobs and the move and investment in new storage facilities in Spreitenbach have been put on hold. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the coming years, not least due to the ongoing sustainability trend, which Farmy is banking on.

Examples such as Farmy show that even start-ups that take advantage of this megatrend do not automatically succeed and grow. Climeworks is not simply relying on an expansion in capacity of its carbon dioxide removal (CDR) services, but has also had these services certified by an independent body. Thus, the scale-up wants to contribute to the creation of technology standards. Such standards and the associated credibility are a prerequisite for strong growth in carbon dioxide removal services. Climeworks is on the right track with this: the first customers of its certified services are Microsoft, Stripe and Shopify.

In addition, sustainability start-ups also have to look for financing. Nikin and SoFlow chose crowd investing for this: Nikin was able to generate CHF 5 million and SoFlow almost CHF 600,000. In order to further develop its measurement, reporting and verification platform for forestation data, Open Forest Protocol was able to collect CHF 4.1 million in a pre-seed round. Among the backers are specialist investors such as Übermorgen Ventures.

Fintech TONI Digital secured the largest investment this week with CHF 12 million. Relio and Ondefy, two other fintech start-ups, also attracted investors. We reported on a total of nine investments this week. Speaking of fintech, applications for the Swiss Fintech Awards are now open again.

The application window for Venture Leaders Technology is open until Sunday, with the prize an intensive business development trip to Silicon Valley. The application deadline for the next Future of Health Grant from CSS and EPFL Innovation Park is also Sunday.

I would also like to mention the Swiss Economic Award. Start-ups that can demonstrate substantial success are particularly in demand here. Start-ups from eastern Switzerland can also apply for the Startfeld Diamant until 22 January.

Finally, a note on our behalf. On 26 January, we will present the latest Swiss Capital Venture Report at two events in Zurich and in Lausanne. Registration is open for both events and the print version of the report can be pre-ordered.

Have a good weekend.
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief,