Zurich Cantonal Bank (ZKB) has made a name for itself in supporting start-ups. Get Your Guide, which is now regarded as a business unicorn, is among the start-ups to have been supported by ZKB from the very beginning. However, ZKB has also supported major firms as part of IPOs and in efforts to raise external capital.

ZKB supports companies across all phases


Since 2005, ZKB has supported more than 200 start-ups with investments totaling approximately 150 million Swiss francs overall, as revealed in an article published in the Swiss newspaper “Tages-Anzeiger”. Daniel Schoch, Team Leader Start-up Finance at ZKB, was quoted in the press release: “Zurich Cantonal Bank was one of the first broadly based institutional investors ever”. Schoch and his colleagues examine around 300 start-up concepts each year, with around ten to fifteen ultimately qualifying for support from ZKB. “When investing, you have to be totally convinced by the business concept, the technology and above all the founding team”, Schoch comments when explaining the criteria upon which ZKB makes investment decisions.

Of course, ZKB does not support start-ups for altruistic reasons, but rather because its aim is to earn money as in investor. With a quota of 75 percent of start-ups successfully established on the market, Schoch is of the view that ZKB’s risk financing, which is actually rather unusual for a bank, has certainly paid off. Get Your Guide, a start-up which ZKB has supported from the very beginning, has actually developed into a unicorn in the meantime.

In terms of business development, ZKB does not merely restrict itself to supporting start-ups, the article explains further. “As a universal bank, Zurich Cantonal Bank is in a position to accompany businesses along their entire journey, from the start-up phase right through to international expansion”, comments Richard Schindler, Head of Capital Market at ZKB, in the article. A focus here is on supporting companies during the process of an IPO or in their efforts to secure fresh funding via the capital market.

ZKB celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

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