Editorials

A new heavyweight

08.02.2019 14:46

Good things come to those who wait. The Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation has received approval and can start fundraising for its growth fund.

Dear reader

The Swiss venture capital market is awakening. In recent months, about a dozen funds have been launched or are about to start. Now, the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund (SwissEF) has become a heavyweight in the area of growth financing with FINMA authorisation. In addition to the already guaranteed CHF 100 million, the initiators want to collect between CHF 150 million and CHF 200 million by the first closing in mid year.

By the end, it is hoped CHF 500 million will have been raised. Half to two-thirds of the money will be invested in Switzerland, with three quarters in funds of funds. In the long term, this will work only if the fund landscape evolves as well. Pascale Vonmont and Christian Wenger, the two board members of the Swiss Entrepreneurs Foundation therefore see the fund as a pacemaker. As they say in our interview, the Swiss start-up ecosystem needs to become better internationally known in order to attract branches of foreign investors and to improve the framework conditions.

A company that would have been made for a growth fund such as SwissEF is Ava. The Zurich-based digital health company employs more than 100 people and is on the way to becoming the global market leader; co-founder Lea von Bidder will take over as CEO in 2020.

Not quite as far as von Bidder yet are the founders who have flown to the Bay Area as part of swissnex San Francisco and Innosuisse’s Market Entry Camp. Our article tells you which six start-ups have the opportunity to get to know the American way of doing business over three to four weeks.

In terms of financing, lending platform Tradeplus24 closed a Series A round and secured a line of credit. Wildbiene + Partner, an agrotech spin-off from ETH Zurich, collected CHF 5 million from business angels and family offices. UrbanAlps, a Zurich start-up that has developed a production system for counterfeit-proof keys, generated CHF 2.5 million Swiss of new equity capital; the investors include Swiss professional footballer Stephan Lichtsteiner who plays for Arsenal in London. Xsensio also continues to grow: Fondation pour l’Innovation Technologique (FIT) in Vaud is providing the sensor manufacturer with a development loan of CHF 500,000.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Jost Dubacher
Editor startupticker.ch

 

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