Tomorrow’s world17.03.2017 13:28
Under the banner of digital transformation, Swiss ICT start-ups are expanding, winning prizes and attracting investors.
A smart person once said that a start-up was a company in search of a business model, which is what distinguishes it from a classic young company. An example of this could be the latest development from Uepaa: the ETH spin-off created an app that identifies smartphones in the immediate environment. Initially, the company addressed end customers; however, just over a year ago it launched a developer kit, and since this swing into the B2B market it has been climbing steeply. This week, Uepaa announced the opening of a sales office in San Francisco.
The fusion of sensor technology and the internet – the Internet of Things (IoT) – promises countless applications with the potential to fundamentally change our daily lives. And Swiss start-ups are at the forefront; for example, BestMile and Poken.
BestMile has just received the Frost & Sullivan 2016 European Award for New Product Innovation for its cloud based fleet management system, and the IoT pioneer Poken will continue to grow under the umbrella of the global event organiser GES.
Four companies in the Swiss ICT ecosystem completed financing rounds this week. Wayray, a specialist in augmented reality applications, closed a $18 million round; one of the investors is Chinese internet giant Alibaba.
Zurich big data firm KNIME attracted a little more – €20 million – with the American private equity firm Invus emerging as an investor.
Smaller rounds took place at Kizy Tracking and KiWi: the developers of the Neuchâtel logistics software were able to attract business angels to their project, and two foundations are supporting fintech company KiWi.
Looking ahead, start-ups with financing requirements have until Saturday, 25 March to apply for a pitch at the newly designed Swiss Venture Day on 5 April.
My colleague Stefan Kyora will be there in Zurich and also at the Start Summit in St. Gallen, which starts a week from today.
Have a good weekend.