Most active Early Stage Investors in 2013

21.03.2014 11:02

Based on the Swiss Venture Capital Report 2013 published by Startupticker and the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA) as well as additional investor interviews, Verve Capital Partners analyzed who were the most active early stage investors in Switzerland in 2013.

According to the Swiss Venture Capital Report 2013, the number of seed and early stage financing rounds increased by 50% between 2012 and 2013, growing from 30 to 45. Furthermore, the total funding volume for seed and early stage almost quadrupled from CHF 32.5 million to CHF 121.8 million.

A data analysis made by Verve Capital Partners, the company behind investiere, reveals the business angel networks, banks and funds that were most active in the financing of young Swiss startups.

Very active early stage investors were Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB), investiere and Debiopharm Investment.

ZKB is clearly the most important source of venture capital for early stage companies. Not just in terms of number of transactions (18 in 2013), but also in terms of total investment volume that is estimated at being around CHF 10 million annually. This number is even more significant if one takes into account that ZKB is focused solely on investing in the so-called “wider Zurich area”.

investiere is the second biggest early stage investor in Switzerland. In 2013, investiere participated in 8 early stage financing rounds worth more than CHF 8 million, of which approximately CHF 5.1 million was raised by investiere’s investor network.

Debiopharm Investment made 6 early stage investments in 2013 and is therefore ranked 3rd - an impressive development given the fact that the biopharmaceutical group’s investment unit began investing in early stage ventures less than 2 years ago.

Other investors on investiere’s Top Ten list are: StartAngels, Zühlke Ventures, Business Angels Switzerland (BAS), Aargauer Kantonalbank (AKB), Go Beyond, Hasler Foundation and Swisscom Ventures.

The report allows some statements about Swiss early stage investments in general:

Banks: Only banks with a government mandate to promote young startups are active in early- stage venture capital.

Angel networks: Angel networks are playing an important role. Four out of the ten most active investors are such networks.

Investors from abroad: Foreign investors are playing in important role for the financing of Swiss start-ups. It is remarkable that no foreign investor is on the Top Ten list. The report of investiere shows that investors from abroad are focussing on later stage companies.

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