Using the tailwind

Covid-19 has triggered or accelerated a number of trends that Swiss start-ups know how to use, including companies in the healthcare sector.

Dear reader

Theoretically, the need for digitalisation in the healthcare sector has been known for years, but it was not until the Covid-19 crisis that the urgency of the issue became clear. Digital health start-ups such as Oviva are able to build on this: the growth company with 550 employees now offers obesity therapy in Germany via an app, with the costs covered by health insurance.

The pandemic has meant that self-testing has now become part of everyday life. Testmate Health is developing a test kit for the for most common sexually transmitted diseases, and has completed a seed financing round of CHF 1.6 million.

Innovative life sciences companies are also in demand on the stock exchanges. ONWARD Medical, an EPFL spin-off that develops new therapies for spinal cord injuries, raised CHF 93 million with its IPO on Euronext in Brussels.

Two other medtech companies each secured CHF 150,000 from Venture Kick: InnoSpina develops new products for spinal treatments, and DeepPsy enables personalised psychatric treatment.

Seervision benefits from the trend towards hybrid and online events with its robo-camera operators. The ETH Zurich spin-off is already successful in North America, Japan and Switzerland, and has now generated CHF 3.7 million in a single financing round. The funds will be used to accelerate further global growth.

Swiss start-ups are clearly using the tailwind from trends triggered by the pandemic; an example is milKit, which makes it easier to install and use tubeless bicycle tires. Now the company has secured CHF 1.5 million from investors in order to take advantage of the current cycling boom.

Auxivo, on the other hand, faced a challenge due to the slump in air traffic; it had developed its exoskeletons to help airport employees lift heavy loads. However, the start-up has been able to tap into new customer groups and sees now a two-fold increase in revenues quarter on quarter.

Digital health start-ups that focus on pain and pain management can apply for the DayOne accelerator programme until 5 November. The application deadline for the IMD Startup Competition runs until 8 November. Students with entrepreneurial projects can apply to S2S Ventures, a student-run venture capital firm.

Next week you can meet me on Wednesday in Zurich at the Seca Evening Event, where VCs present themselves on stage. I would also like to highlight the Digital Health Day in Bern, also on Wednesday, and the MassChallenge Switzerland award ceremony on Thursday. And the deadline for start-ups that want to pitch at this year’s Fintech Investor Day is on Thursday too. 

Have a good weekend.

Stefan Kyora
Editor in Chief,