• Thursday, September 5, 2019 @ 7:00 am

Swiss startups are playing in the global Champions League. That was the message at the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award, as an audience of more than 700 international investors, startups, corporates and startup experts celebrated Switzerland’s top-ranked startups.


Global investment for world-leaders
TOP 100 startup alum GetYourGuide (3rd place, 2012) achieved unicorn status thanks to a $484 million funding round led by Japanese investors SoftBank, while Geneva’s Amal Therapeutics (8th place, 2016) was acquired for €425 million by German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim. Several of this year’s TOP 100 made headlines with financing rounds in the tens of millions, while deeptech companies such as Flyability, which leads the ranking this year, established themselves as world leaders in fast-growing markets. Bastian Zarske Bueno, head of Corporate Ventures at Swiss Prime Site confirmed the trend: “Many of the top 100 startups are already internationally sought-after technology and innovation partners, as well as attractive investment objects.”


TOP 3 in 2019: the ultimate rivalry - Biotech company Lunaphore ranks second
Flyability, Lunaphore and Ava occupy the TOP 3 places, in a fierce, final rivalry in what is their last appearance in the TOP 100, having reached the age-limit for the ranking.

Winner Flyability (4th last year) is a prime example of Swiss tech’s global appeal: With more than 350 customers across global markets, the EPFL-spinoff is the market leader for hazardous site inspections in the nuclear, energy, chemical and mining industries. The founders have raised more than CHF 15 million, as they seek to make Flyability the industry-standard inspection tool. Adrien Briod, co-founder and CTO, emphasized the importance the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award played in establishing Flyability’s credentials. “Our position in the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award in the last years helped us build credibility with prospective investors and customers.”

Runner-up Lunaphore (3rd last year) launched its first automated tissue diagnostic machine this year, targeting the industry’s key opinion leaders. Collaborations with multi-billion-dollar global corporation PerkinsElmer and biomedical research firm Vitro, underline the potential of this startup’s high-speed tissue-staining technology to revolutionize lab diagnostics and enable more personalized medicine.

Third-placed Ava Women (1st last year) enjoyed an impressive year of growth, as the fertility-tracking startup saw revenue exceed CHF 10 million, new offices in Hong Kong, and plans to expand into China. Leadership at the fertility data-tracker will pass to co-founder Lea von Bidder in January, as the startup’s attention focuses on greater measurement of women's health.

A jury of 100 leading investors and experts rank the country's most-impactful startups. The TOP 100 Public Voting, which runs parallel to the expert ranking, was the public's chance to highlight an excellent Swiss startup. The winner of this year’s public vote is GuestReady, based in the Appenzell town of Trogen (pop. 1,742), which offers management services to Airbnb hosts in 14 cities around the world.


Another 20 biotech startups rank in the top 100 Swiss Startup Awards
Rank 6 - Cutiss AG
Rank 14 - Polyneuron Pharmaceuticals AG
Rank 15 - Volumina Medical SA
Rank 11 - Versantis AG
Rank 19 - Cellestia Biotech AG
Rank 16 - TOLREMO therapeutics AG
Rank 24 - T3 Pharmaceuticals AG
Rank 33 - MaxWell Biosystems AG
Rank 34 - Resistell AG
Rank 37 - Anaveon AG
Rank 46 - AgroSustain SA
Rank 44 - Inositec AG
Rank 66 - InterAx Biotech AG
Rank 69 - Topadur Pharma AG
Rank 70 - PharmaBiome AG
Rank 77 - Elthera AG
Rank 86 - Haelixa AG
Rank 88 - GTX Medical SA
Rank 91 - Araris Biotech AG
Rank 95 - TwentyGreen Holding AG


The full ranking and a full photo gallery is available on the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award site.


Tracking the growth of Switzerland’s scale-ups
New for this year’s edition is the scale-up ranking. As startups cannot appear in the TOP 100 for more than 5 years after incorporation, the TOP 100 experts were also asked to select the TOP 25 scale-ups. These companies, aged five years or more, show the greatest potential for further growth. From VIU VENTURES counting 400 employees in 6 years, to Sophia Genetics opening 2019 with a 77-million- franc financing round, this ranking further illustrates the amazing potential shown by Swiss startups. “The TOP 100 startups all have the potential to develop into major global successes over the next 10 years,” commented Andreas Gerber, Head of SME Business at Credit Suisse and President of the Swiss Venture Club.


Key facts and figures in 2019

  • To date, the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Award has recognized a total of 397 startups.
  • Cumulatively they have raised more than CHF 4.3 billion, with 42 exits and two IPOs.
  • The TOP 100 startups represent more than 8,700 active jobs.
  • 58 of the TOP 100 startups have women in management, including 25 as co-founders.

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