Not only is Switzerland home to postcard-perfect landscapes and an incredibly high standard of living, (and that’s not to mention the chocolate and cheese), but it’s also an exciting place for innovation and startups.
Switzerland’s financial reputation is highly regarded around the world and it’s a nation that holds stable when times are rough. At the same time, it holds the top spot as one of the world’s leaders in innovation for the 12th year in a row. Switzerland has all the necessary ingredients to nurture successful startup stories, and it’s a nation full of exciting possibilities.
The Swiss government, as well as the private sphere, is committed to maintaining the global image that the Alpine nation has created. A culture of innovation is constantly evolving in Switzerland which, coupled with having the world’s second-highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, makes it an attractive spot for investors.
In 2022, Swiss startups secured an impressive €4 billion. MedTech, FinTech and DeepTech continue to be major growth areas whilst CleanTech startups are on the rise in Switzerland, securing over €826 million in 2022.
This week we took a closer look at the Swiss startups shaping the landscape in 2023. So, after undertaking our comprehensive research process, we have identified 10 early-stage Swiss startups (all founded since 2020) that we believe have a skyrocketing future ahead.
GlycoEra: Born in Zurich, GlycoEra is a precision protein degradation startup. The aim is to use this tech to open up new therapeutic solutions. GlycoEra’s novel technology uses bifunctional biologics to bind disease-causing proteins and transport them to lysosomes, where they are degraded and eliminated. Unlike other protein degraders, GlycoEra’s technology can target extracellular and membrane proteins, expanding therapeutic areas. They also offer a custom Glycanengineering platform to develop novel therapeutics. Since its founding in 2020, GlycoEra has raised €45 million in funding.
deskbird: Aiming to create a people-centric approach to workplace management, deskbird is tapping into the HRtech market with its SaaS solution. The startup’s platform helps to create flexible hybrid workplaces that run smoothly, and users can access it via an app. Employees can book resources in the office, see who is in the office on which days, and, easily schedule meetings accordingly. For workplace managers, the platform gives full oversight of statistics like office occupancy and consumption. The data insights can help optimise spending as well as create happier, more connected hybrid office cultures. Launched in 2020, the startup now manages over 500 offices across 20 countries, and, in 2022 it secured €5 million to expand.
Kooky: Zurich-based Kooky is working to create a smart infrastructure for reusable food packaging. It is a digital cup smart system that offers its customers the possibility to dispose of reusable cups on their way in an easy and sustainable way through kooky boxes. Consumers order their drink as usual and get it in a Kooky cup. When they return the cup in a kooky drop-off box, they will immediately get their deposit credited to the wallet of their app. Kooky is fighting against plastic waste, trying to bring a sustainable way of reducing our footprint through bevtech. It was founded in 2021 hitting a total amount of €6 million since then.
Muuvr: Based in Zurich, Muuvr is a digital experience that motivates people to take ownership of a more active life through a powerful combination of exercise tracking, community engagement, and exclusive rewards. Muuvr members (aka Muuvrs) earn points called ‘Muuvs’ by being active and motivating the wider Muuvr community. Muuvs are used to unlock exclusive rewards, from the latest sports gear and VIP experiences to virtual rewards and funding for health & wellness research, in the Muuvr marketplace. Founded in 2022, the app connects to over 1,000 data-capture devices and platforms, including Google, Garmin, Wahoo, and Whoop. Built on the blockchain, Muuvr advocates data transparency and decentralization, enabling its community to take ownership of a more rewarding active life.
Portofino Technologies: Based in Zug, Portofino Technologies is on a mission to promote the adoption of digital assets by building financial infrastructure technology. The crypto-native company deploys its proprietary market-making tech to facilitate trading on centralized, decentralized, and OTC digital asset markets. In addition to this, the company provides token services and investments to Web3 companies. Founded in 2021, Portofino Technologies has raised €47.35 million as it aspired to shape the future of digital finance.
LatticeFlow: Founded by AI researchers from ETH Zurich in 2020, Lattice Flow want to help companies build and deploy trustworthy AI. The LatticeFlow platform is designed to help ML teams improve the performance and robustness of their AI models by auto-diagnosing and enhancing data and models. With LatticeFlow, ML teams can deliver high-quality AI models faster, and organizations can build and deploy robust AI that they can understand and trust. The platform’s auto-diagnostic capabilities make it a useful tool for organisations designing AI models. AI is the market that keeps growing, but, concerns are surmounting around its reliability and safety. LatticeFlow could hold the key to bringing trust to the segment. So far, it’s raised €14 million.
Nanoflex Robotics: A spin-out from ETHZ, Nanoflex Robotics specializes in developing soft robotic systems for medical interventions. The startup has developed magnetic navigation tech that enables precise insertion of specially made guidewires and catheters deep into the brain, and they also provide associated surgical devices. By developing these precision tools, the young startup is able to enhance surgical procedures for better outcomes, specifically focused on the treatment of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic stroke. So far, the MedTech startup has secured €18.85 million.
Planetarygroup: Founded in 2022, Planetary is shaping the development of meat and dairy alternatives with biotechnology. The startup’s platform designs, builds and operates upstream, downstream and formulations capacity and related IP for biomass and precision fermentation players. Planetary’s production facility is one of the first of its kind, offering a multi-product microbial fermentation facility, able to produce precision-fermented compounds such as proteins, lipids and biomass from mycelium on a commercial scale. As a result, the startup is helping transition food supply from a livestock-centric position towards one that is fermentation-based. This creates a more sustainable and ethical future of food, that is scalable and accessible. Already, the company has raised €11 million in funding.
Unique: Based in Zurich, Unique is leveraging the ever-growing power of AI to boost customer interactions. Founded in 2021, the startup’s sales intelligence platform records client conversations and leverages AI language models (like GPT) to analyze them in over 12 languages. This then provides teams with data-driven insights to inform better decisions and help create stronger relationships with customers. Whilst it gives a boost to the performance of sales teams, it also gives customers a more transparent and informed buying experience. The B2B SaaS startup has now raised over €11 million.
Destinus: On a mission to create the future of air travel, Destinus was founded in 2021. The aerospace startup, based in Vaud, is building hydrogen-powered aeroplanes using cutting-edge tech. The aim is to make long-range hypersonic flight part of everyday life in the near future, shaping a more sustainable future of air travel and goods transport. The company has already secured over €26 million for its innovative approach to air travel and transport, and we think it could be exciting to follow the destinations it reaches.
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