More and more Swiss startups are being sold five years after they were founded or went public on the stock market, according to the latest Swiss Startup Radar report. Most of these exits are taking place in the canton of Zurich. The canton of Zug came in third place. In terms of industries, IT companies are well ahead of the others.

The news portal and the University of Lausanne have published the latest version of their Swiss Startup Radar report, which this time focuses on exits in the Swiss startup scene.

The report’s authors found that more and more Swiss startups are being sold for CHF 100 million five years after they were founded or went public on the stock market with a valuation of this amount.

The latest Swiss Startup Radar report looks at 450 Swiss exits from the past 25 years. It found that that many of the transactions have been in the IT industry, with the number of exits increasing from five in 2006 to twenty in 2017. In 2018 alone, around 60% of exits were for companies in the IT and software sectors.

Despite this increase, software companies account for only 12% of the largest exits of more than CHF 100 million. Life science companies clearly dominated the field in these larger transactions.

When it comes to where these transactions are taking place, the canton of Zurich comes in first place with around one third of all exits. The canton of Vaud comes in second, followed in third by the canton of Zug, whose share of exits is significantly higher than its share of startups. According to the report, founders who are considering an exit from the outset may prefer the canton of Zug.

Although the report found that the dynamic of exits does not have the same momentum as foundations, the growing number of exits goes to show that the Swiss start-up ecosystem is maturing. After all, exits enable investors to continue investing, attracting new venture capitalists and bringing in experienced entrepreneurs, who often set up other companies or support other founders as financiers and advisors.

The English version of the report begins on page 79.

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