August 1, 2023

8 Swiss soonicorns to watch

Here are eight Swiss-based startups from the country’s growing tech ecosystem that are on their way to unicorn status, according to Dealroom data

Alexandra Bacon

3 min read


Last year the Swiss startup ecosystem raised $5.1bn — the country’s best ever year for funding.

Switzerland also boasts Europe’s leading spinout centre ETH Zurich, which has produced 545 spinouts and 12 unicorns so far. Research institutes like it are vital for developing the scientific expertise for one of Switzerland’s biggest exports — healthtech. Six of the soonicorns — companies on their way to $1bn+ valuations — on this list are from that sector.

Here are eight Swiss-based startups from the country’s growing tech ecosystem that are on their way to unicorn status, according to Dealroom data. Each company was founded in 2005 or later and raised its most recent round in 2020 or later. They have valuations ranging between $400m and $990m. 

Sygnum Bank 

What does it do? Digital asset bank and trading platform
Founded: 2018
HQ: Zurich
Valuation: $800m

Sygnum allows users to invest in digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash and Tezos — and markets itself as a trusted place to hold these assets, thanks to its Swiss banking licence. In January 2022 it raised a $90m Series B from the likes of META Investments, SBI Holdings and Animoca Brands.


Quercis Pharma

What does it do? Drug development for life-threatening conditions
Founded: 2019
HQ: Zug
Valuation: $600m-900m (Dealroom estimate)

Querics Pharma is a clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs for cancer patients and those with a high risk of thrombosis. It also targets diseases such as sickle cell disease, ebola and Covid. 


What does it do? Crypto banking service
Founded: 2018
HQ: Zug
Valuation: $474m-712m (Dealroom estimate)

SEBA Bank provides digital assets banking and investment services. It received a Swiss banking and securities dealer licence in August 2019, making it one of the few fully regulated crypto banks in Switzerland. It raised a $119m Series C in January 2022, which included investment from the likes of DeFi Technologies, Summer Capital and a "small investment" from Alameda Research.


What does it do? Developing drug delivery devices for people with diabetes
Founded: 2008
HQ: Lucerne
Valuation: $460m-690m (Dealroom estimate)

CeQur is developing discreet insulin-delivery systems to replace the need for mealtime injections for people with diabetes. Its last raise was a $115m Series C in April 2021 led by Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital Ltd and Endeavour Vision — at the time, the largest fundraise to date for a privately held medtech in Europe, according to the company.


What does it do? Creating antibody therapies for cancer treatment
Founded: 2011
HQ: Zurich
Valuation: $440m-660m (Dealroom estimate)

Numab develops multi-specific antibodies for use in the development of cancer therapies. It raised a $110m Series C in 2021, followed by an additional undisclosed amount from HBM Healthcare Investment in December 2022, according to Dealroom. 

Bright Peak Therapeutics

What does it do? Developing novel immunotherapies to treat cancer and autoimmune disease
Founded: 2017
HQ: Basel
Valuation: $428m-642m (Dealroom estimate)

Bright Peak Therapeutics develops immunotherapies using its own chemical protein synthesis platform — a technology that was developed by founders Vijaya Pattabiraman and Jeffrey Bode at ETH Zurich. It last raised a $107m Series B led by RA Capital, with participation from founding investor Versant Ventures and new investors such as BlackRock, Fidelity and Qatar Investment Authority.


Alentis Therapeutics

What does it do? Developing treatments for cancer and fibrotic diseases
Founded: 2019
HQ: Basel
Valuation: $420m-630m (Dealroom estimate)

Alentis Therapeutics is developing antibodies for a previously unexplored protein target to help treat immune-evasive tumours and fibrosis in chronic diseases. It raised a $105m Series C in April 2023 led by Jeito Capital, together with Novo Holdings and RA Capital Management. Bpifrance also invested. 


What does it do? Developing cytokines into therapies
Founded: 2017
HQ: Basel
Valuation: $403m-605m (Dealroom estimate)

Anaveon works with small proteins, cytokines, to develop treatments for diseases like cancer. It has raised $136m so far, and raised a $101m Series B in December 2021 from Pfizer Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund, amongst others, according to Dealroom.

Alexandra Bacon

Alexandra Bacon is an editorial intern at Sifted. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn