back to guides

Switzerland

Introduction

With a population of 8.8 million – roughly the same as New York City – and a GDP of $800B – comparable to Taiwan -, Switzerland consistently ranks at or near the top of Europe’s benchmarks when it comes to prosperity, quality of life and innovation.

An attractive destination for VC investment, with a track record of successful startup successes – 29 unicorns were born in Switzerland –  and a rich pipeline of promising gems, the Swiss tech ecosystem nonetheless remains too often overlooked.

Switzerland is home to over 3.5k+ funded startups which raised $5.6B in VC investment in 2022.

Venture Capital

By stage

In 2022, Switzerland attracted over $5.6B in VC investment, 21% higher than its previous 2021 record of $4.6B. 2022 within the Swiss startup ecosystem was a year of record levels of VC investment captured in all three stages (early, breakout, and scaleup stage) as can be seen in the carousels below.

Early stage

Early stage investment has grown almost 10x in the last decade, up from $121M in 2012, although pre-seed to Series A rounds have seen a slight decline since Q4 2021 in Switzerland. 

Access early-stage funding rounds into Swiss startups here on the Dealroom platform.

Breakout stage

Startups in the breakout stage of their funding journey in Switzerland raised over $2B in 2022. On a quarterly basis, the total amount raised for $15M to 100M rounds has stayed relatively stable in the country.

Access breakout-stage funding rounds into Swiss startups here on the Dealroom platform.

Scaleup stage

Over $5B has been raised by Swiss scaleups since 2018 with a third of these rounds going into Healthtech startups such as Roivant Sciences and many others.

By industry

Industry VC investment

The leading industries in Switzerland for VC investment include Health, Fintech, and Energy startups that raised over two-thirds of all investment investment in 2022.

Sub-Industry VC investment

On a more granular level, looking at sub-industries it’s startups in biotechnology, crypto and insurance startups. who raised the most VC investments. 

 

Sources of capital

Like many European countries, Swiss startups raise most of their VC investment from investors located domestically or within Europe itself with this making up on average at least 40% of their investor's source location.

However, 2022 saw a notably strong year for investment coming from the US and Asian investors in comparison to that of others.

International comparisons

Country benchmarking

Switzerland currently ranks within the top 5 countries in terms of VC investment in Europe alongside the likes of the Sweden and the Netherlands.

Compare the Swiss ecosystem against other European ecosystems down below or here on the Dealroom platform.

City benchmarking

Leading cities such as Geneva and Zurich are amongst the top 50 city ecosystems in Europe in terms of VC investment.

Compare Swiss startup hubs against their European and global counterparts here on the platform.

Investment by industries benchmarking

Since 2018, there has been more than double the proportionate amounts of VC investment into Healthtech startups in Switzerland compared to the European average as seen below. Enterprise Software, Robotics and Security startups in Switzerland also attract more proportional investment compared to the European average.

Investors

The most active Swiss VC is Lausanne-based Seed investors Foundation FIT. They are followed by Zurich-based Verve Venture, Venture Kick, ZKB - Zürcher Kantonalbank, and Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC).

Explore the data for the most active investors into the Swiss startup ecosystem as well as the most active Swiss investors here on the Dealroom platform.

Spotlight: Patents

The combination of leading research institutions, business-friendly climate, reliable infrastructure, quality workforce, existing technology landscape, and intellectual property protection makes Switzerland an exceptional hub for startups to flourish and foster groundbreaking innovation within its borders.

As of 2023, there are over 900+ companies with at least one patent. 

In Dealroom's most recent tech startup ecosystem benchmarking report, published in December 2022, we found that three Swiss cities feature in the top 20 global hubs for Patent density, which can be seen in the table below.

Basel, Zurich and Geneva are the leading three ecosystems in Switzerland by patents. Zurich and Basel’s most registered patent category is Life Sciences while it is Information in Geneva.

Related Content

Reports: The next generation of tech ecosystems report
Reports: The Swiss startup ecosystem in numbers
Dealroom Data: Explore all funded Swiss startups and scaleups
Dealroom Data: Explore all Swiss funding rounds