The Swiss Venture Capital Scene – league tables of most active Swiss VCs – part of my European VC blog series

The Swiss Venture Capital Scene – league tables of most active Swiss VCs – part of my European VC blog series

Switzerland is a small country with a population just under 8m but, punches above its weight. CH has attracted success since ancient times and is now organized with unique investors and strong entrepreneurs.  Switzerland is home to Nestlé, Roche, ABB and some of the major players of big pharma such as Novartis and Merk Serono as well as other big balance sheet acquirers of venture-backed companies.  Switzerland’s beautiful mountains, lakes and towns along with capital gains tax being zero attract the very rich. The very rich make most of their money from investing; so zero capital gains tax is where it’s at! Understanding how the global economy works requires an understanding of Switzerland and the family offices that are based there and the wealth managers that command these large fortunes.

Sometimes I see entrepreneurs from Germany, France and England that already had huge exits bypass VCs and tap directly into the true source of cash raising large $30m or $50m rounds for their tech startups directly from the big families in Switzerland. It’s kind of like the major leagues of European startups. These families know how to find the startups of the most successful European entrepreneurs. Many of these families allocate a small percentage of their fortunes to VC funds in California and globally making Switzerland a very important piece of the puzzle. Some of my investors are from Switzerland, including – André Jaeggi, who is based on a lake outside of Zurich. I have worked with André for a number of years as the chairman of The Founders Club and the lead and first investor in my VC Fund – Georgetown Angels. André has been a personal mentor to me and is the co-founder of Adveq, a Zurich-based fund of funds that has invested over $5.5 billion into VC funds, mainly based in Silicon Valley, but also globally including China. They are in most of the big VCs that you have heard of in the Valley. André wrote the forward of my book and the section in my book on fund of funds. He actually tells the story of starting Adveq and how they raised their first fund.

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I have an additional personal connection to Switzerland in that I spent two summers in Geneva as an intern and still have life-long friends there. (Wishing a Happy New Year to Eric, Emmanuelle and Kinga!) Roel Bulthuis, founder and head of Merck Serono Ventures is based in Geneva (and Amsterdam) and is a personal friend and advisory board member of The Founders Club. Anja König, Managing Director of Novartis Venture Fund based in Basil, Switzerland is also one of my advisors as is Patrik Frei, CEO of Swiss-based Venture Valuation. I have been to the offices of Endeavor Vision in Geneva and these guys helped start and run TechTour in Europe, which is one of the very best set of events in Europe for entrepreneurs and investors to mix. Farley Duvall (who used to crash at my place in London) and his wife Elizabeth are based in Zurich and run White Bull from their Swiss HQ which Farley cofounded after running Red Herring Europe. White Bull has become THE go to conference for the startup elite to assemble in Europe. I would be happy to live the rest of my days in the Canton of Vaud sailing on the lake and skiing the nearby slopes. (This is a photo of Zurich, not Lausanne:-))

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I am humbled at the thought of advising anyone Swiss on where to go to raise funding. They have their own local angel groups, which include very impressive successful business people. Index Ventures, one of the most successful European VC Funds that many think of as a London VC, has roots in Geneva where some of their best guys are based – I always thought Giuseppe Zocco was the smartest guy in the room when pitching deals to Index. There are a few local funds, but Swiss entrepreneurs should consider all German, neighboring Austrian & Lichtenstein as well as French, British and American sources for investment. Here are the league tables of funds that invested in rounds of 3M CHF or more in 2010 and 2011.

League Table for the Most Active VCs in Switzerland

These league tables like the other ones I have posted are a bit out of date. These represent research for VCs that invested in Swiss domiciled startups in rounds of at least $5m in 2009 and 2010.

1 BioMedPartners AG Basel, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 151 5
2 SVC AG fuer KMU Risikokapital Zürich, Switzerland 4
3 VI Partners Zug, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 78 4
4 BB Biotech Ventures Schaffhausen, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 396 3
5 Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners Paris, France US$ 580 3
6 Novartis Venture Fund Basel, Switzerland Corporate Venture Capital US$ 650 3
7 Vinci Capital Switzerland SA Lausanne, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 155 3
8 Aravis Zurich, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 175 2
9 BZ Bank Switzerland Corporation 2
10 DEFI Gestion SA Lausanne, Switzerland US$ 155 2
11 Endeavour Vision Geneva, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 54 2
12 Index Ventures Geneva, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 2,250 2
13 MP Healthcare Venture Management Boston, MA Venture Capital 2
14 NeoMed Management Oslo, Norway US$ 125 2
15 New Value Zurich, Switzerland US$ 60 2
16 Novo A/S Hellerup, Denmark US$ 2,044 2
17 Sunstone Capital A/S Copenhagen, Denmark Venture Capital US$ 644 2
18 Truffle Capital SAS Paris, France Venture Capital US$ 462 2
19 Wellington Partners Munich, Germany Venture Capital US$ 962 2
20 5AM Ventures Menlo Park, CA Venture Capital US$ 435 1
21 Abingworth Management Inc. London, United Kingdom Venture Capital US$ 1,250 1
22 Advent Venture Partners LLP London, United Kingdom US$ 882 1
23 Aescap Venture Amsterdam, Netherlands Venture Capital US$ 125 1
24 Affentranger Associates SA Geneva, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 19 1
25 Agate Medical Investments Tel-Aviv , Israel Venture Capital US$ 60 1
26 Aviv Venture Capital Petach Tikva, Israel Corporate Venture Capital US$ 77 1
27 Balderton Capital Management LLP London, United Kingdom Venture Capital US$ 1,900 1
28 Banexi Ventures Partners SA Paris, France Venture Capital US$ 411 1
29 BioMed Invest Austria Corporation 1
30 BioMerieux Craponne, France Corp Development 1
31 Biovest San Diego, CA Inactive VC 1
32 Blue Ocean Capital Investment Bank 1
33 Capricorn Venture Partners NV Leuven, Belgium Venture Capital US$ 135 1
34 CDC Innovation Paris, France Venture Capital US$ 499 1
35 Chemolio Holding Zurich, Switzerland 1
36 Core Capital Partners AG Zurich, Switzerland 1
37 Debiopharm Switzerland Corporation 1
38 Eclosion Geneva, Switzerland 1
39 Emertec Gestion Grenoble, France Venture Capital US$ 144 1
40 Entrepreneurs Fund Management LLP London, United Kingdom Venture Capital 1
41 Esperante BV Hoofddorp, Netherlands Venture Capital 1
42 G Square Capital Paris, France 1
43 HBM BioVentures AG Zug, Switzerland US$ 2,404 1
44 Holland Private Equity Amsterdam, Netherlands US$ 48 1
45 Initiative Capital Switzerland 1
46 Inventages Venture Capital Commugny, Switzerland Venture Capital US$ 1,200 1
47 Investor Growth Capital Inc. Stockholm, Sweden US$ 1,800 1
48 Jerusalem Venture Partners Jerusalem, Israel Venture Capital US$ 900 1
49 Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. New Brunswick, NJ Corp Development 1
50 Medtronic Inc. Minneapolis, MN Corp Development 1


If you want to come to Europe this summer there is no better place to be in June than Stockholm and London. Join us!

Stockholm – The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 3

Stockholm – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 4

London – The Future of Angel & Venture Capital Investing – June 9

London – The Future of Raising Angel & Venture Capital Funding – June 11

Twitter: @RomansVentures


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