The latest report, released by news outlet Startupticker.ch and the Swiss Private Equity and Corporate Finance Association (SECA), points to cryptocurrency companies as being at the forefront of attracting VC investment with Swiss startups receiving almost CHF 1.24 billion (Swiss francs equivalent of USD 1.25 billion) of venture capital during 2018. Much of the investment was aimed at Zug, Switzerland’s appropriately-named Crypto Valley. The figures represent an increase of 32% from 2017 with financing rounds increasing by over 31%. The figures cover venture capital investments of at least CHF 100,000.
The spike in investment has been put down to increased interest in both the ITC and fintech sectors, with new funding for the former almost doubling the previous year’s figures. In 2018, 131 Swiss ICT start-ups amassed CHF 685 million from investors, 55% of the total invested capital, which included the cryptocurrency sector raising 15%, almost CHF 188 million.
The largest amount raised last year was in the crypto sector, with CHF 100 million raised by the Zug-based SEBA Crypto, whose main focus is on combining crypto and traditional banking services. The report found that the geographical distribution of VC investment was clearly Zurich-centered with a significant increase on last years figures. However, Zug, home to some of the world’s leading cryptocurrency companies, and many of Switzerland’s major players, experienced a 143% VC funds increase year-on-year.
Conclusions drawn from the report indicate that with the hype now gone, and with Switzerland now acknowledged a crypto-friendly space, the local cryptocurrency scene is entering a “period of normalization and professionalization”, backed by the government in Bern, which has recently adopted a comprehensive strategy for the development of cryptocurrency in the alpine nation.
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