Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of the numerous start-ups created in recent years has been a matter of great concern. While some companies have been able to explore or adapt their business model, others are under pressure. More restrictive than for traditional SMEs, the support measures implemented by the Confederation only partially alleviate them.
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Among the fragile startups are companies looking for funding. Wednesday’s announcement of the creation of a venture capital investment fund should therefore attract the attention of many entrepreneurs, especially as it will be mainly active in Switzerland.
Swiss startups at the forefront
Launched a year ago by the Zurich-based company VI Partners, the fundraising raised 75 million francs, slightly less than the 80 million forecast. “In normal times, we would have raised a little more,” says Alain Nicod, director of the company, one of the pioneers of venture capital. Since 2002, it has injected 210 million francs into around fifty companies.
For their first round of funding, the promoters of this new fund have convinced many Swiss companies, such as ABB, Nestlé or Credit Suisse, but also federal polytechnic schools or the Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, launched by former federal councilor Johann Schneider-Amman. The amounts allocated by these investors are not specified.
There will be good investment conditions in the coming years
If the money raised gives priority to young Swiss companies deemed to be promising, international shenanigans should not be excluded. Start-up companies will be favored, even if, here, too, investors do not make it a religion and can support more advanced companies in their development.
This is because “there will be good investment conditions in the coming years”, predicts Alain Nicod. The guy knows what he’s talking about. It is going through its third zone of turmoil, after the bursting of the internet bubble and the subprime crisis. “Periods that gave rise to very good business successes”, recalls the man who intends to eventually double the size of the new fund.
Young Swiss entrepreneurs can also count on yet another newcomer to the venture capital scene, he learns. The weather. Nicknamed Tomahawk, a fund was created in Zurich at the beginning of the year. With an investment capacity of 20 million francs, it will be invested throughout Europe, with particular attention to Switzerland and Germany.
Crises are sources of creativity
Also focused on emerging businesses, the project was launched by Cédric Waldburger, a well-known “serial entrepreneur” throughout Sarine. The aim is to give pride of place to projects that think “global and global” from the start, offering, for example, new tools to manage a rapidly changing world. Investors recently decided to support Zurich startup Locatee, which has developed software to optimize workspaces.
Tomahawk Operations Manager, Claude Donzé also considers favorable conditions for investments in start-ups, noting that economic crises are “sources of creativity”. “It is in these periods that true managers reveal themselves”, concludes Alain Nicod.
In this sense, the agility of Technis, a company based in Vaud, should not fail to draw the attention of investors. Known for its mats that allow you to assess the frequency of a location, in a few weeks it developed terminals capable of counting the customers present in a store.