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Swiss startups mark bumper investment year in 2021

Fintech, cleantech, and digital healthcare startups had a particularly good year. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Total investment in Swiss startups climbed to over CHF3 billion in 2021, continuing a decade-long rise, only barely dented in 2020 by the pandemic.

This content was published on January 28, 2022 - 10:56
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The CHF3.06 billion ($3.29 billion) invested last year marked a 44% increase on 2020, according to the annual Swiss Venture Capital ReportExternal link, published on Thursday by startupticker.ch and investor association SECA.

After a slight dip last year, startups in the ICT sector were again particularly favoured, while fintech, cleantech (i.e. sustainable energy related) and the digital healthcare sector also continued their strong rise.

The single biggest investor success by a startup was the CHF584.5 million haul by the digital insurance firm Wefox. ICT startup Nexthink – involved in gauging employees’ digital experience – got CHF162 million, and Biotech company Anaveon CHF110 million.

The high overall number of investment rounds – 355 – throughout the year was due to an uptick in seed rounds, which are used to raise money to launch businesses; these climbed to 131. That said, the most money was still invested during later-phase financing rounds (CHF2.3 billion).

Regionally, cantons Zurich and Vaud – home to the two Swiss federal technology institutes (ETH Zurich and EPFL), hotbeds of innovation and startups – enjoyed considerable rises in funding, and accounted for some CHF1.9 billion between the two of them.

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