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Basel startups impress investors

27.01.2022

According to the latest Swiss Venture Capital Report, investments in Swiss startups increased by 44 percent last year. As a result, the biotechnology sector has been able to consolidate its strong position, particularly in the Basel Area.

Graphic taken from the Swiss Venture Capital Report

In the previous year, investors pledged a total of 3.059 billion Swiss francs in venture capital to Swiss startups. According to the latest Swiss Venture Capital Report from startupticker.ch, this equates to growth of 44 percent in comparison with 2020. On a year-on-year basis, total growth amounted to 935.3 million Swiss francs, with IT and fintech startups alone responsible for 799 million Swiss francs of this figure.

While the IT and fintech sector banked investments totaling 857.9 million Swiss francs overall, and therefore lead the way in this regard, the biotech sector trails only slightly behind at 767.5 million Swiss francs. The fact that this actually represents a decline in comparison with the previous year can be explained by the total of five IPOs carried out by biotech firms, meaning that less venture capital was invested overall, the report explains. In contrast, financing rounds demonstrate the strength of this sector. Of the 20 largest financing rounds closed in the previous year, nine were attributable to the biotech industry, whereby SkyCell is active as a pharma wholesaler.

Strong biotech sector in the Basel Area

Of the eight remaining biotech startups, four are based in the Basel Area. For example, Anaveon, which successfully closed the largest biotech financing round (110 million Swiss francs) in the previous year. Headquartered at Technologiepark Basel, the company has already participated in the BaseLaunch accelerator and incubator realized by the investment and innovation promotion agency Basel Area Business & Innovation. For its part, Bright Peak Therapeutics secured investment totaling 96 million Swiss francs as part of its financing round, with Monte Rosa Therapeutics banking a total of 88 million Swiss francs. Alentis Therapeutics – headquartered at the Allschwil site of the Switzerland Innovation Park Basel Area operated by Basel Area Business & Innovation and having likewise been supported by the BaseLaunch initiative – secured gross proceeds of 60 million Swiss francs from its financing round.

Overall, 24 startups from the Basel Area profited from the financing rounds carried out last year. In this way, the canton of Basel-Stadt ranks third among the cantons. The heavyweight cantons of Zurich and Vaud take the top two spots respectively, with the smaller canton of Basel-Stadt and its total of 338.4 million Swiss francs slotting into third place. This is actually the canton’s second-best result ever. Moreover, at 78.5 million Swiss francs, the canton of Basel-Landschaft is ranked in ninth place. According to the report, 50.7 percent of all venture capital investments in Swiss biotech startups were made in companies located in the two Basel cantons. With Mestex, deepCDR Biologics and Metys Pharmaceuticals (trade sales) as well as VectivBio and Monte Rosa Therapeutics (IPO), five Basel-based biotech startups were also able to realize a successful exit.

Taking an overview of the past ten years, the medtech sector in particular has recorded significant growth within the biotech segment. Here, investments have risen by 51 percent, while growth of 44 percent has been registered in the area of healthcare IT. Both sectors are strongly represented in the Basel Area.

Here you can download the Swiss Venture Capital Report

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