Adrian Sprenger

Adrian Sprenger

Dr. | Manager Entrepreneurship

Tel. +41 61 295 50 23

money (img: Denis Vrublevski/shutterstock)

money (img: Denis Vrublevski/shutterstock)


Record level of VC investment in Switzerland

Funding for Swiss startups reached a new record high in 2017. The greatest rise was reported for venture capital investment in fintechs in the area of digitalisation. Biotech and medtech continued to receive the highest amounts.

Over the past year, “more start-ups received investment than ever before” in Switzerland, say and the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association (SECA) in their collaborative publication, the Swiss Venture Capital Report.

According to the data, 938 million Swiss francs was invested in 175 Swiss startups in 2017. When compared with 2016, capital investment has therefore increased by 3 per cent. 

With an increase of 60 per cent on 2016, interest has above all risen in fintech companies operating in the area of digitalisation. A total of 30 Swiss startups in this segment were able to attract investment of 76 million francs overall.

As in previous years, the greatest share in terms of value was once again attributable to startups in the biotech and medtech sectors, with 600 million francs received.

The report highlights that Basel-Stadt, Zurich, Zug, Vaud and Geneva were the most popular cantons for venture capital investment. It also highlights the 20 startups that secured the greatest investment in 2017. 

Among them are the Basel-based, oncology-focused pharmaceutical company NousCom, which secured 48.7 million francs. With NOUS-209, NousCom has developed a vaccine to prevent the occurrence of cancer in carriers of Lynch Syndrome.

Another Basel-based company to make the top 20 was Polyphor. It attracted investment of 40 million francs, which will help the company develop its drug Murepavadin. The antibiotic is used to treat the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria, one of the most common hospital germs that is resistant to antibiotics.

Overall, “Swiss venture capital continues to gain in maturity”, the report maintains, adding that “ICT has established itself as the second most important sector alongside biotech.”

The authors also noted the positive development that the number of growth financings between 2 million francs and 10 million francs increased in 2017.

However, one negative aspect focused on in the report is that startups struggle to secure investment from Swiss companies and instead rely on foreign investors.

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