Zurich-based QBIT Capital launches its first venture capital fund

Founded in mid-2021, QBIT Capital positions itself as an institutional-like angel investor. They invest and operate alongside angel investors and early-stage VCs in Swiss start-ups to take a leading role in pre-seed & seed investment rounds. QBIT is backed by an experienced team and venture partners group, spread across the globe.

QBIT’s fund I, will focus on FinTech startups and university spin-offs of all verticals apart from BioTech and MedTech companies. QBIT invests in pre-seed and seed stages with the goal of actively supporting founders in their journey. «Our strategy is focused on investing in a small number of companies, ideally 15-20” explains Georges Khneysser. “We use a hands-on and active approach, from go-to-market strategy, coaching and hiring, to helping scale up the business and expanding internationally.»

To bring back the real added value of “smart money,” QBIT has introduced the concept of active, engaged Limited Partners (LP) to collaborate with strategic partners. Active engaged LPs are handpicked entrepreneurs that support the portfolio companies actively and dedicate their time to the teams’ success.

Moreover, QBIT has entered a strategic partnership with Speedinvest Pirates, a growth hacking agency based in Vienna, to expand the level of expertise and support to the founders. Speedinvest Pirates has a successful track record in supporting early-stage startups across Europe. They are well integrated within the Swiss ecosystem, having supported successful start-ups such as Wefox

Investments in Swiss start-ups only

QBIT Capital’s fund I invests exclusively in Swiss companies and thus works hard to maintain its network. In addition to ETH Zurich and EPFL Lausanne, the partners actively collaborate with the Swiss ICT Investor club, Business Angels Switzerland Association and CSEM, as well as many other start-up and international platforms.

QBIT’s Fund I AUM target is CHF25 million. The fund did its first closing in June and initiated its first investment in Everon AG. “Our next fund will be CHF25 million and fund III, IV etc. will always be CHF25 million. We want to stay nimble and follow our niche strategy,” explains the founder. However, the sector focus will be sharpened and more specialized.

The firm was founded by Georges Khneysser. After more than 30 years working in financial markets and having lived and worked in Brussels, Beirut, Geneva, Zurich, Singapore and Los Angeles, the native Lebanese and Belgian citizen moved to Zurich two years ago and established QBIT Capital.

The QBIT team was designed to access and leverage a global network for their portfolio companies. Two partners, Abril Olavarria and Luis Huber, based in Zurich, work alongside Georges Khneysser, while the other partner, Basel Sbeini is based in Los Angeles to help the startups scale and expand to the US. Additionally, the team is supported by venture partners and board members spread across the globe; from Switzerland, Austria and Italy, to Los Angeles and Southeast Asia.

(Stefan Kyora)
Picture: QBIT partners L-R: Abril Olavarria, Georges Khneysser, Basel Sbeini, Luis Huber