Swiss VCs Supporting the Domestic Fintech Startup Ecosystem

Swiss VCs Supporting the Domestic Fintech Startup Ecosystem

by April 9, 2020

When talking about fintech investors, the first names that come to mind are often the prominent US venture capital (VC) firms that have backed some of the world’s most successful fintech startups such as Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners and Index Ventures.

But in Switzerland, there is actually a large pool of local VCs that have been supporting the domestic fintech startup ecosystem with funding, guidance and decision-making assistance.

Here we look at some of the country’s top VC firms backing the Swiss fintech industry and bringing it to the next level.

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Swiss VC firms

Amongst Switzerland’s seed stage and early stage VC firms, a few names stand out for their participation in fintech.

Polytech Ventures is an early stage VC firm based in both Switzerland and in Silicon Valley with a strong international focus. It is strategically located at the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and is run by a team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts.

Polytech Ventures’ mission is to build the bridge between Swiss and European startups with the US where they can access able to access new markets, ideas, people, and opportunities. Its current portfolio of fintech companies include award-winning regtech startup NetGuardians and peer-to-peer (P2P) crowdlending platform

DIventures is another Swiss early stage VC firm based Zurich but which solely focuses on fintech and regtech firms. DIventures is backing the likes of financial markets analytics startup Yukka Lab, regtech company Apiax, authentication startup Futurae Technologies, and business-to-business (B2B) wealtech software provider Vestr.

There is also Redalpine, an early stage and seed VC firm, and one of the most active VC investors in the Swiss startup ecosystem. Redalpine focuses more broadly on European tech startups with “disruptive business models” and moderate capital needs in the fields of information technology (ICT) and life sciences. In the fintech sector, Redalpine has funded the likes of Bexio, a provider of cloud-based business and accounting software.

Meanwhile, Backbone Ventures, a VC firm based in Zurich, specializes in pre-seed, seed and early-stage investments, primarily in the area of ​innovative ICT, foodtech and disruptive technologies. Its current portfolio fintech companies include mobile banking platform Neon, “payment-as-a-service” platform Imburse, and regtech startup Atfinity.

Another Swiss/US VC firm active in the local fintech startup scene is Alpana Ventures. Focused on seed, Series A and B investments in medtech, fintech, mobility, marketplaces and SaaS, Alpana Ventures’s current portfolio fintech companies include Inpher, a cybersecurity serving financial institutions, and

VI Partners, a VC firm established by McKinsey & Company and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) in 2001, provides university spin-off’s as well as other promising local startup companies with capital, coaching and networks. VI Partners’ current portfolio companies include Swiss invoice financing platform Advanon, security token exchange Smart Valor, and equity management platform Ledgy.

Finally, another company worth mentioning but which is not a VC firm per se is investiere by Verve Capital Partners. Investiere is an angel network and digital VC platform, and Switzerland’s most active VC investor with over 70 investments, according to Pitchbook. Swiss fintech startups it has backed include wealthtech startup AlgoTrader, and regtech company Qumram.

Due to the high concentration of crypto startups in Switzerland, and in particular in the city of Zug, there has been an increasing number of blockchain and crypto-focused VC firms in Switzerland.

These include CV VC, which invests in all stages of crypto and blockchain development, Blockchain Valley Ventures, a Swiss VC firm, accelerator, and a spin-off from blockchain trading platform provider Lykke, and Blufolio, a blockchain investment firm that has backed the likes of Swiss digital bank Yapeal, and payments platform Liquineq.

Swiss corporate CV firms

Besides traditional VC firms, corporate venture capital (CVC) firms and funds have also been active investors in the Swiss fintech industry. Alongside banks and financial institutions such as UBS and Credit Suisse, two names stands out: Swisscom Ventures, and SIX Fintech Ventures.

Swisscom Ventures is the CVC arm of Swisscom. Founded in 2007, it is one of the most active VC investors in Switzerland, all industries combined, and specializes in early stage tech investments. Swisscom Ventures is backing a number of Swiss fintech startups including Advanon and Expense Robot, a startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate expense and business card processes.

Meanwhile, SIX Fintech Ventures is the CVC arm of SIX Group. SIX Fintech Ventures invests in early stage fintech startups, and is backing Swiss fintech startups including online user verification startup PXL Vision, crypto security startup Shift Cryptosecurity, and Vestr.

Lastly, the CVC arm of PostFinance is another committed corporate fintech investor in Switzerland. Besides international startups, PostFinance invested in Swiss growth companies such as RaiseNow, Sentifi, Sonect, TONI and Imburse.