Successful startups in the fields of forward-looking technologies represent the innovative strength and competitiveness of a location. 2019 was a record year for the vibrant and diverse startup scene in Switzerland.
Rise of the Swiss unicorns
Never before were so many startups founded, and never before had so much been invested in startups as in 2019. In fact, nearly CHF 2.3 billion or over a billion more than in the previous year was invested (source: Swiss Venture Capital Report 2020). At least five privately held startups reached the prestigious "unicorn" status with a valuation of over one billion US dollars, including four from Greater Zurich: GetYourGuide (travel platform), Wefox (insurance marketplace), Numbrs (banking app) and Acronis (cybersecurity). Interestingly, the technology fields in which the most investment was made – information technology and biotech - are the same ones from which Greater Zurich Area Ltd (GZA) registered the most business settlements. This highlights the quality and dynamic of our region in these ecosystems.
Innovation and business-friendly environment
The three most important ingredients for a thriving startup ecosystem are talent, capital and customers. In addition, there are leading universities, renowned companies, mentors, incubators and accelerators, innovation support programs, associations and special events. An innovation and business-friendly environment and a sense of entrepreneurial spirit round off the package. Greater Zurich has developed into a very attractive location for successful startups.
Investments break new record
With growth of more than 80% since 2012, investments in Swiss startups have now exceeded the CHF 2 billion mark. This is due to several large financing rounds of over CHF 100 million and a clear increase in investments in almost all sectors and funding stages.