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Swiss venture capital market competitive

Switzerland currently lies in sixth place in Europe in terms of venture capital investment.

(Amsterdam Financial Research)

In first-quarter rankings of venture capital investment, Switzerland beat Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Ireland, raising some €100 million.

According to data published by Amsterdam Financial Research, a new information provider for the venture capital investment sector, Swiss companies as a group received more venture capital investment than firms in those countries for the first quarter of this year.

Switzerland, with a population of little more than seven million, raised a greater sum than did the Netherlands, a country with 16.1 million inhabitants.

Moreover, Switzerland compares favorably with Ireland on the metric venture money raised per capita. It is significant because the Emerald Isle has long been hailed as a "hot spot" for innovation-type investment in Europe, enjoying a lot of press and publicity for its innovation-friendly economy.

Both countries raised a similar amount when one measures the amount of euros invested per person. In fact, Switzerland is slightly higher.

Swiss analysis

Don't hang the flags out yet, though. The top ten countries in Europe raised a total of €1.06 billion (SFr1.54 billion), which means that Swiss venture capital investment activities represents ten percent of all the venture capital invested in Europe during the period.

The top spot in European venture capital investment for the period is held by the UK (population 59.5 million people), which raised €584 million. It is by far the
most advanced venture capital market in Europe, raising more than half of
the total amount of venture capital for the period.

Most of the money invested here in the first quarter went to later stage
companies that have a requirement for larger amounts of capital than early
stage firms. Optical networking component maker Opto Speed raised SFr33
million in the fourth round and two biotechnology firms that together
raised SFr43 million for a total of SFr7 million. Very few early stage
firms attracted capital in Switzerland during the same period.

Keeping up with the neighbours

Swiss Venture Update's latest figure for the first quarter of this year is
€103 million and Windmill reports €91 million for Switzerland.
German firms raised €187 million, according to Amsterdam Financial

Research's report, only twice what Swiss firms raised. No matter which
source is used, Switzerland is holding its own when measured against the
eleven times greater economy of its northern neighbor (population 82.8
million).

France was number two in the rankings. It is catching up to the UK, at
least if the first quarter of 2002 is an indication. It raised €230 million. Both countries have a similar sized population.

*All population figures sourced from GeoHive.

by Valerie Thompson

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