On the occasion of Alfred Escher’s Day of Entrepreneurs and 200th anniversary on 20 February, Credit Suisse is expanding its venture capital investment Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG. With this additional capital, the bank intends to further expand its commitment to the Swiss workplace and to contribute to the sustained promotion of entrepreneurship in Switzerland.
As a leading bank for entrepreneurs, Credit Suisse attaches great importance to strengthening and promoting Switzerland’s business location and entrepreneurship through a variety of measures, according to a statement. The Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG, created in 2010, has so far invested venture capital totaling 130 million francs in more than 50 SMEs at various stages of development. Credit Suisse takes the 200th birthday of Alfred Escher as an opportunity to increase the successful container by another 70 million to a total of 200 million francs.
Didier Denat, Chairman of Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG and Head of Corporate & Investment Banking at Credit Suisse in Switzerland, says, “Implementing visions and making progress requires capital. Alfred Escher had already recognized that and is still today. Especially younger companies at the beginning of their life cycle need venture capital in order to make their ideas marketable and expandable. With Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG, we not only invest in the companies themselves, but also want to help ensure that Switzerland remains a leading global innovation and business location in the future. »
Diverse investment areas with clear criteria
Investments are made in Swiss start-ups and SMEs from all sectors. Three groups are in the foreground:
Established companies that need capital for growth or expansion investments
Businesses with a pronounced regional importance, in order to secure their locally anchored jobs
Robotics & Automation, Medtech and Fintech start-ups with innovative ideas that need market support to help them implement their business plan
Unlike the recently launched Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, which was co-founded by Credit Suisse and is now being sold together with UBS, the investment amount is between 250,000 and 8 million francs in the majority of the investments of Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG much lower.
Successful previous activity
Thanks to its long-standing commitment, Credit Suisse has been able to make a name for itself in the venture capital market over the years. “An average of 15 financing inquiries are received per week, and the trend is rising,” says Elios Elsener, CEO of Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG , Of the 52 investments made to date, 29 are actively managed in the portfolio, which is ensured operationally by Helvetica Capital AG. Various participations have been sold since 2010 with a profit. “Unlike in the first few years, the vessel is meanwhile profitable and self-supporting,” adds Elsener.
Recent investment: Zurich start-up
The latest investment by Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG is the start-up Fotokite or Perspective Robotics. The Zurich-based development and production company produces cable-controlled drones that can be operated autonomously and for an unlimited period of time. Fotokite is dedicated in particular to improving the security and speed of public security operations, such as the fire department. The company, which was created in 2014 as a spin-off of ETH Zurich, comprises a team of 25 people. The seven-digit investment by Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital AG enables the company to accelerate growth and create additional jobs in Switzerland. (CS / mc)