Fintech in the Greater Zurich Area

Greater Zurich Area: The leading hub for your Fintech company

Building on a long tradition as a leading financial hub and with top technical universities and research institutes, the Greater Zurich Area offers ideal conditions and a dedicated legal framework for driving growth and innovations in Fintech. Today, Greater Zurich is one of the leading Fintech hubs in the world, on par with Singapore and London.

Fintech in the Greater Zurich Area at a glance

  • Global leading Fintech hub
  • Business-friendly regulatory environment, efficient licensing processes, and rich talent pool
  • Thriving Fintech ecosystem with established companies and new successful start-ups, as well as necessary framework conditions, accelerators, and research
  • Historically well-established banking and insurance sector combined with technological expertise and a well-developed infrastructure
  • Low market entry barriers for Fintech companies
  • The world’s first regulated exchange for digital assets, thus providing the necessary framework conditions for emerging technologies to thrive
  • Growing focus on sustainable finance

The Greater Zurich Area (GZA) is one of the leading Fintech hubs both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Global Fintech Hub Ranking 2022, Zurich continues to have the second-largest potential worldwide for entrepreneurship, innovation and financial technologies – behind Singapore, but ahead of London, Stockholm, Amsterdam, New York City, San Francisco, Hong Kong or Toronto.

Global Fintech Ranking 2022 IFZ
Global Fintech Hub Ranking. Source: IFZ Fintech Study 2022, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
For us it is very important to be in a place where innovation can happen. I think for Fintech in particular Switzerland has an opportunity to lead.
Sam Chadwick - Director of Innovation, Financial & Risk, Thomson Reuters

10 reasons why Fintech companies choose the Greater Zurich Area

  1. Internationally renowned, reliable, and innovative financial hub with global network
  2. Deeply rooted acceptance of Fintech among authorities
  3. State-of-the-art technical infrastructure
  4. Deep pools of capital and straightforward access to funding
  5. Accessibility of venture capital financing and business incubators
  6. Protection of property, data protection laws, and confidentiality
  7. Low taxes and forward-thinking regulations for financial services (sandbox, banking license light)
  8. World-leading educational and research institutions
  9. World-class engineering talent and ability to attract top talent locally and from abroad
  10. Supportive start-up ecosystem with world-class service providers

Greater Zurich’s innovative Fintech ecosystem with successful companies

The Zurich region is the biggest financial center in Switzerland and one of the most important financial hubs worldwide with internationally operating banks like UBS and Credit Suisse. The canton of Zurich alone is home to 15,000 offices of various banking institutions, leading research institutes, and a cluster of entrepreneurs.

This leading role in “traditional” finance is also mirrored by the number of fintech enterprises in Zurich: The canton is the largest Fintech hub in Switzerland with 142 resident companies in 2021, while the neighbouring canton of Zug holds almost as many with 103 Fintech companies according to the IFZ Fintech Study 2022. Across all 11 GZA cantons and regions, the Greater Zurich Area hosts over two-thirds of the total 384 Fintech companies in Switzerland.

IFZ Number of Fintech Companies CH
Number of Fintech companies by year and by product area (left) and technology category (right) (n=384). Source: IFZ FinTech Study 2022, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

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Beryl Kern

Successful Fintech companies in the Greater Zurich Area

Over the years, the Greater Zurich Area has developed into a sophisticated Fintech ecosystem with numerous leading actors in academia, incubators, institutions, authorities, investors, associations and more. Discover the Swiss Fintech companies with the interactive Swiss Fintech Map.

Static Swiss Fintech Map (PDF)

 

Already leading by example, the following selection of successful fintech companies shows, how the ecosystem in the Greater Zurich Area fosters fintech innovation and success in Switzerland and abroad.

Leonteq - Zurich

Leonteq - Zurich

A leading example of the prospering fintech development in the Greater Zurich region is the fintech-pioneer Leonteq. Within 10 years, the Zurich-based investment solution platform experienced tremendous growth and success and recently launched its new index for crypto assets. Based on proprietary modern technology, the company offers derivative investment products and services. Leonteq acts as both a direct issuer of its own products and as a partner to other financial institutions. The company has offices and subsidiaries in 13 countries, through which it serves over 50 markets. 

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Leonteq

Inventx - Grisons

Inventx - Grisons

Another success story with great momentum is the Grisons-based fintech company Inventx, which develops digital banking solutions for financial institutions. Inventx employs over 380 people and has recently invested over 40 million Swiss Francs in its headquarters in Chur.

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Inventx

Yokoy - Zurich

Yokoy - Zurich

Yokoy uses artificial intelligence to automate the entire corporate spend and corporate credit card processes. Founded in 2019 to simplify expense management, Yokoy already has over 500 customers and is expanding abroad rapidly. The start-up from Zurich has also been awarded as one of the 250 globally most promising fintech companies of 2022 by CB Insights.

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Yokoy

Inyova - Zurich

Inyova - Zurich

Inyova is a start-up headquartered in Zurich that wants to create a more sustainable world through investing. The company offers "impact investing", allowing consumers to invest their savings into impact-focused businesses (renewable energy, diversity, healthcare). As a sustainable asset manager, Inyova handles its customer's diversified portfolios, which are designed for an attractive financial return.

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Inyova

Discover featured Fintech success stories

Fintech in the Greater Zurich Area: Innovative & forward-looking

Talent & Start-ups

Talent & Start-ups

Substantive growth shaped by skilled talent and innovative start-ups

Along with established companies and research institutions, the start-up ecosystem in Greater Zurich is flourishing: According to the Institute for Young Enterprises, over 50,000 new companies were established in 2021 in Switzerland (10-year average of 43,000). This high number confirms the fostering ecosystem and fertile ground for emerging start-ups in Switzerland.

In 2021, investments in Swiss start-ups reached over 3 billion Swiss Francs – this is a new record. From these investments, well over a quarter (28%) was invested in start-ups from the Fintech sector. Furthermore, numerous incubators, accelerators, and awards were established in the last couple of years. Based on these findings by Switzerland Global Enterprise, this offers both start-ups and international companies the necessary services, support, and opportunities to build and grow their Fintech business in Greater Zurich and internationally. In the annual Top 100 Swiss Start-up Awards 2022, ten of the top 100 across all kinds of industries are Fintech start-ups. Additionally, the 2022 winner Yokoy and third-placed Ledgy are also from the fintech sector, thus highlighting the innovation focus of the Fintech companies in Switzerland.

To achieve this high number of start-ups, the Greater Zurich Area is bringing forth a deep pool of skilled talent with its world-renowned education system. Leading universities such as the University of Zurich, the ETH Zurich, but also the many universities of applied sciences and qualifying apprenticeships offer top education, which enables a skilled workforce in the fintech sector, whilst also constantly ensuring the education of new talent.

Sustainable Finance & Green Fintech

Sustainable Finance & Green Fintech

Sustainable finance in the Greater Zurich Area

In addition to building on a successful history as an international financial hub, Switzerland and the Greater Zurich Area are at the forefront of new developments in the financial sector – especially with regard to the sustainability of finance.

Sustainable finance refers to the integration of environmental and social considerations into financial decision-making. This can include things like investing in renewable energy or clean transportation projects, as well as excluding investments in companies that engage in environmentally harmful practices. Sustainable finance can also include green bonds and other types of financial products that are designed to support sustainable development. A prominent example is the Zurich-based start-up Inyova

Green fintech is a subset of sustainable finance that applies technology to create new financial products and services that promote sustainable development. Some examples of green fintech include digital platforms that make it easier to invest in sustainable projects and mobile applications that help track and reduce carbon footprint. 

Swiss banks manage almost a third of the cross-border assets under management worldwide and two-thirds of those investments in the Zurich region according to Finanzplatz Zürich. Thus, the Zurich financial center can contribute significantly to a more sustainable finance environment in the world. Sustainable investments have experienced steady growth over the last few years and many banks offer sustainable options and are expanding their services in this field. Combined with high sensitivity towards the topic of sustainability, this has resulted in Switzerland ranking among the top 10 financial centers worldwide according to the Global Green Finance Index

Overall, sustainable finance and green fintech are growing areas of activity in Switzerland and the Greater Zurich Area, driven by a combination of economic, social, and political factors. In the future, investments in sustainable finance and green finance will be intensified further and are backed by the Swiss Confederation with action plans, mandatory climate reporting, and supporting organizations like the Green Finance Network or the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

Find out more about sustainable finance and green Fintech:

Sustainable finance in Switzerland

Why Switzerland is one of the leading hubs for sustainable finance

Swiss Climate Scores

Fintech & blockchain in the Greater Zurich Area

Fintech & blockchain in the Greater Zurich Area

Where world-class technology meets Swiss reliability

The Greater Zurich Area has evolved into a global Fintech and blockchain hub, thanks to factors like access to talent, leading research institutes, innovation-friendly regulators, investors and industry partners.

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Fintech and Blockchain in the Greater Zurich Area

Contacts - Reach out

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Beryl Kern
Beryl Kern
Senior Project Manager
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Rolf Bühler Potrait
Rolf Bühler
Director Europe
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Lukas Sieber Executive Director USA
Lukas Sieber
Executive Director USA
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