Editorials

An IPO and CHF 50 million

23.09.2016 14:47

This week, young Swiss technology companies secured more than CHF 50 million from investors and similarly AC Immune’s IPO is a promising exit. So the chances are that investor interest in Swiss start-ups will continue to remain high.

Dear reader

AC Immune submitted the documents for its IPO on the US Nasdaq in June. Now today is the day: founder and CEO Andrea Pfeifer will start the trading of AC Immune shares with the First Trade Ceremony in New York. The signs for the Swiss biotech company are good: due to popular demand, more shares are in the trade than originally planned. The company will thus accrue more than CHF 50 million.

It is not only biotech companies that are enjoying investor favour. Medtech company SpineArt reported that it had secured a €30 million investment from Gimv, and the Swiss-German insurtech start-up FinanceFox has secured $28 million. The lead in this financing round included an American and an Asian venture capital company. Even in younger companies, investor interest is large: Orbiwise and Planet Intus, both from Geneva, also closed financing rounds.

Those that would like to emulate the successful start-ups have ample opportunities to present themselves to investors in the coming weeks. Registration for the two elevator pitches in Zurich and Basel is open until Sunday; the winners will appear at Swiss Startup Day. Fintech Investor Day takes place on 14 November and start-ups have until 2 October to register. A ‘Reverse Pitch Event’ will be held on 6 October in Zurich, where investors will pitch in front of the start-ups before the five selected start-ups take their turn.

Investor interest in Swiss start-ups will remain high only with further lucrative exits. This need not always be an IPO: for 11 years Ariel Lüdi was the driving force behind the Swiss unicorn start-up hybris software before it was acquired by SAP in August 2013 for more than $1 billion. Lüdi will tell his story at a venturelab’s and ETH Entrepreneurs Club's Startup Champions event. Also starting the new semester are venturelab’s Startup Essentials/Acceleration Workshops at the two Federal Institutes of Technology in Zurich and Lausanne.

Next week it will be worth looking at startupticker every day. I’ll be joining the winners of the Startup Swisscom Challenge and spending a week in Silicon Valley. My coverage of the trip will report on the experiences of the start-ups with their individual business development programmes and how Swiss start-ups and large companies with offices on site see the scene there.

Have a sunny weekend
Stefan Kyora

Managing Editor, startupticker.ch

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